On Reaching Old Age by Colin Ian Jeffery

Time is fleeting in its passingAnd does jolt the memoryRecalling images of long agoWhen life seemed to stretch far awaySafe from Death’s stalking shadow. As a child I thought as a childSeeing only bright summer daysWith friendships I thought to last foreverAnd parents who could never dieOld age a distant foreign land. Now walking the land of the elderlyOld bones and old man troublesWondering how … Continue reading On Reaching Old Age by Colin Ian Jeffery

Maybe The Only “Good” Thing About The Attack on Rushdie Is That It Proves Literature Still Has Power… Or Not, Since It Only Does If You “Speak Ill” of a Very Particular Subject

Salman Rushdie’s August 12th stabbing in “idyllic” Chautauqua, New York brought up many emotions for those with enthusiasm for literature (and even those without it). Or, more accurately, the freedom of speech element it champions. On the one hand, there is something “encouraging” about the fact that the power of someone’s words in novel form could hold such weight. On the other, that it took … Continue reading Maybe The Only “Good” Thing About The Attack on Rushdie Is That It Proves Literature Still Has Power… Or Not, Since It Only Does If You “Speak Ill” of a Very Particular Subject

Why Marilyn Monroe and Sylvia Plath Go Hand in Hand

On what marks the sixtieth anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death (a suicide, an accident or a murder, depending on who you ask), there seems to be more interest than ever in the icon that captivated the world and incited a sexual awakening within a repressed American culture. From Kim Kardashian effectively dancing on Marilyn’s corpse by forcing her ass to squeeze into the Jean Louis … Continue reading Why Marilyn Monroe and Sylvia Plath Go Hand in Hand

“I’ve Turned Depression and Anger Into Vaudeville”: An Interview With Leanne Grabel

In an interview with Brontosaurus Illustrated author Leanne Grabel, The Opiate probes the mind of this Portland-based luminary to get her thoughts on everything from the creative process that went into the book to her advice on how to cope with sexual assault, itself the subject of her new graphic novel released on The Opiate Books imprint.  The Opiate: When did you first know that … Continue reading “I’ve Turned Depression and Anger Into Vaudeville”: An Interview With Leanne Grabel

New York Is A Town of Ghosts (You’ve Fucked): Cult Classic

It’s no secret that staying at the fair that is New York for too long (to paraphrase Joan D.) will lead to irreparable damage. Usually of the emotional variety—though you might also need a liver transplant after all the drinking expected of you as well. Sloane Crosley is here to crystallize that fact in literary form with her sophomore novel, Cult Classic. In contrast to her … Continue reading New York Is A Town of Ghosts (You’ve Fucked): Cult Classic

Being There by Billie Pritchett

Una played this game where she circled around the professor’s chair, over and over, hoping he would look at her and, if not her, then the shadow of her naked body swirling against the maroon walls in the lamplight of her rented home. He read Sein und Zeit, the black jacketless hardcover gripped tightly in his hands. She leaned in and lifted his thumb from the … Continue reading Being There by Billie Pritchett

The Literary Nods of 10 Things I Hate About You

Long before Olivia (Sydney Sweeney) and Paula (Brittany O’Grady) from The White Lotus were flaunting their book covers, we had Katarina Stratford (Julia Stiles), the “tempestuous” lead character in 10 Things I Hate About You. And, being that the movie was an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, it’s only fitting that there should be plenty of literary nods throughout. Including the fact that Kat herself is … Continue reading The Literary Nods of 10 Things I Hate About You

It’s Not the Internet, It’s You: Fake Accounts

Being meta is pretty much essential to the twenty-first century “novel.” So is exhibiting signs of “immediate retromania.” In the case of Fake Accounts (a non-risqué double entendre of a title), that means taking us “all the way back” to the Women’s March that transpired on Donald Trump’s inauguration day in 2017. As Lauren Oyler’s debut, Fake Accounts firmly establishes her place in the usual insular “New York … Continue reading It’s Not the Internet, It’s You: Fake Accounts

Is It the End or the Beginning of California Literature Now?

East Coastians would likely balk at the term “California literature” as being an oxymoron. And yet, that’s precisely what Joan Didion carved out for herself as a genre. Yes, there were others who had written about California before her—John Steinbeck and Nathanael West come to mind (even Raymond Chandler, for the less hoity-toity)—and all just as negatively through the guise of “poetic darkness.” But none … Continue reading Is It the End or the Beginning of California Literature Now?