“At Least I Had Fun, I Suppose”: Kevin Crowe’s No Home In This World by Ewa Mazierska

Fly on the Wall Press, publisher of the collection No Home in This World by Kevin Crowe, presents itself as a “publisher with a conscience.” This description also suits its author, introduced as a “lifelong socialist, [who] has over the years been involved in campaigning on a wide range of issues, including homelessness, anti-war initiatives, trade union rights, freedom of speech, HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ rights.” … Continue reading “At Least I Had Fun, I Suppose”: Kevin Crowe’s No Home In This World by Ewa Mazierska

Harry Potter Was Always Pedestrian & J.K. Rowling’s Views Match That

I never fucked with Harry Potter. At least not in the same incredibly overzealous way other people did for most of the 00s. I was a casual peruser after the first book (which didn’t hook me)–just to see what, exactly, all the fuss was about this cultural phenomenon that had managed to get so many otherwise illiterate Americans to read. Clearly, that illiteracy still applied … Continue reading Harry Potter Was Always Pedestrian & J.K. Rowling’s Views Match That

The Sarah Palins Will Keep Coming: On the Banning of Certain Classic Literature in Alaska

Alaska, already markedly lacking in being acknowledged (so much so that people still seem to think that Texas is the largest state) despite its storied history of having among the highest suicide rates in the U.S. and being sold for the price of a song (7.2 million dollars) by the Russians in 1912, has managed to re-register on people’s radar after a recent and rather … Continue reading The Sarah Palins Will Keep Coming: On the Banning of Certain Classic Literature in Alaska

We Are All Gregor Samsa Now

Few knew better than Franz Kafka that life, if nothing else, is an inexplicably cruel joke. Seemingly orchestrated by an invisible sadist (sometimes called God). That the very term “Kafkaesque” is designed to connote a nightmarish tableau in which all signs of logic and reason have vanished in favor of convoluted blether is telling of his impact on our lives. Our lives in which dealing … Continue reading We Are All Gregor Samsa Now

The Time Machine Predicted the Post-Human Era

Just as J.G. Ballard and Ray Bradbury, the eerie foresight with which H.G. Wells told of a dystopian future feels increasingly palpable. Nay, is actually here, despite any rosy “we can make a change” attitudes to the contrary. And unlike, say, Philip K. Dick, Wells does not predict a future in which humans have evolved (some more reluctantly than others) with technology, but one in … Continue reading The Time Machine Predicted the Post-Human Era

The 70s Got the “Virus Apocalypse” Right With The Girl Who Owned A City

It is in the sixth grade that we are assigned to read O.T. Nelson’s The Girl Who Owned A City (perhaps merely an anomalous part of the reading curriculum in California). Because kids have a tendency to go along with most everything adults say at that age, it doesn’t come across as entirely strange or disturbing to be reading a dystopian YA novel about a … Continue reading The 70s Got the “Virus Apocalypse” Right With The Girl Who Owned A City

New York Is A Spineless Place, Which Is Why It Has Publishing Companies to Match: On Hachette & Woody Allen

New York, the place everyone still deems as a gumption-filled milieu where we’re all free to be you and me, so long as it doesn’t step on the wrong “tastemaker’s” toes or offend the wrong victim’s (a.k.a. someone with clout/public visibility) sensibilities. Let us get this straight: this isn’t merely about Woody Allen. About whether one “supports” him or not. Or whether one “believes” him … Continue reading New York Is A Spineless Place, Which Is Why It Has Publishing Companies to Match: On Hachette & Woody Allen

Ewa Mazierska Brings the Character of Poland (and Other Foreign Lands) to Life in Neighbours & Tourists

While many of us try to escape the place from whence we came (particularly those of an artistic temperament), there is often no avoiding how much the milieu that formed the core of our being remains within us. For cinema critic and short story writer Ewa Mazierska, that milieu is undeniably Włocławek. Or at least Poland as a general framework for the narratives that comprise … Continue reading Ewa Mazierska Brings the Character of Poland (and Other Foreign Lands) to Life in Neighbours & Tourists

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good (Nor Should She Be): You’ll Think Twice About Your Write-Off of Old Women After Reading Helene Tursten’s Tale of Intrigue

Preconceived notions are, of course, the unfortunate backbone that makes this world go hastily ‘round. It’s what saves us all time and effort when it comes to actually scratching beneath the surface of things. While a bittersweet reality of life, stereotyping is a lazy human phenomenon that works to eighty-something Maud’s advantage. For she is the eponymous “elderly lady” in Helene Tursten’s An Elderly Lady … Continue reading An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good (Nor Should She Be): You’ll Think Twice About Your Write-Off of Old Women After Reading Helene Tursten’s Tale of Intrigue

Now That She’s Dead, The Thank Yous Come In For Elizabeth Wurtzel Paving a Certain Long and Whining Road for Many Subsequent Female Writers

Elizabeth Wurtzel was all too aware of the scandal and outrage she was about to wreak with the release of the then most “self-indulgent” (read: privileged white girl) novel–nay, memoir–of all-time (put out on the heels of other “whiny” Gen Xer fare, including Douglas Coupland’s 1991 book, Generation X, and Susanna Kaysen’s [though not a Gen Xer herself] 1993 Girl, Interrupted). And even if she … Continue reading Now That She’s Dead, The Thank Yous Come In For Elizabeth Wurtzel Paving a Certain Long and Whining Road for Many Subsequent Female Writers