When a Character Returns
Edward P. Jones connected recurring characters through his short stories, providing a blueprint for one writer.
Lost in the City,
All Aunt Hagar’s Children
Read the rest of the post here: Rion on Edward P. Jones
Laws of Another Universe
In 2008, right before my senior year of high school, my parents informed my sister and me that we would be moving in a month. Earlier that year, my father had lost his small plastics plant to the automotive crisis. I was old enough to know that moving under our circumstances was embarrassing and that it wasn’t going to be the last shameful thing that the recession brought our way. I watched as relics of my childhood flew into Dumpsters or were sold off. By August our home was empty and we were driving away.
At my new high school, I ate lunch alone; I spoke to no one; I sat in the most inconspicuous seats during class; I made no friends. The only friend from home who made the time to visit me was my on-again, off-again boyfriend, DeAngilo. DeAngilo and I shared a group of friends, enjoyed the same type of humor, and both harbored a deep love for video games. He didn’t like the Sims, though. He said it wasn’t a real video game, and only losers with no friends played it. But I loved it, and, needing something to do with myself, I downloaded it at my new home. As the opening screen loaded, a wave of comfort overtook me. I pressed start.
Read the rest of the article here: Gabrielle Rucker in Lenny
From THE ESTABLISHMENT
On The Unbearable Whiteness Of The Yale English Major
On a sweltering morning in August 1989, I took an Amtrak train from my hometown in Jacksonville, Florida, to New Haven, Connecticut, to begin my freshman year at Yale. A first-generation black college student from a neighborhood where no one else I knew was heading to college, I recalled the words of childhood friends on my last night at home: Don’t turn white.
When I stepped off the train, I was about 10 times more woke (as the kids say) than I was when I got on, having spent the entire train ride up the East Coast reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X. At Yale, I majored in economics, but signed up for only the required courses in the major. I filled my courseload with African American studies, women’s studies, and history classes that did not center around white men.
Read the rest of the article here: Being an English Major at Yale
From A PUBLIC SPACE
…I tell you this longish anecdote as a way to prepare you for what I see as the magic in Jamel Brinkley’s stories. These stories deal in large-scale deceit and betrayal, there are painful things at work in this fiction, but much like the scene I described above, Jamel Brinkley regularly finds ways to pierce through the dramatic and find the subtle and humane lurking within.
Read the full post here: Victor LaValle on “A Lucky Man”
Kimbilio in honored to count Victor as a friend and advisor.
Friends of Kimbilio: Get $6 off a subscription to A Public Space by using code KIMBILIO at checkout. As a subscriber, you’ll receive three issues in the mail, as well as complete access to the online archives, where you can read two stories by Jamel Brinkley as well as ten years of fact, fiction, art, and argument. Subscribe today: http://apublicspace.org/store/subscribe
(Note: KIMBILIO thanks Julia for her ongoing service to our community. Since 2014, she has graciously volunteered to prepare manuscript material for our retreat.)
Andrea Lee writes the kind of dazzling, lyrical prose that delights with its boldness—over three acclaimed novels, a New York Times Notable short story collection, and many essays and articles in publications like Time,The New Yorker, and Vogue, she explores matters of race, class, and culture with an erudition that is as playful as it is sophisticated. It was an honor and a pleasure to talk with her about her life and work, and collect some additional thoughts on her essay “Notes for a Speech Never Given (The Nile Swim Club),” which appears in Gulf Coast 28.2.
Julia Brown: Where in the world are you right now? What’s on your mind these days? What’s absorbing your attention?
Andrea Lee: I have just spent a month of work and play in Bangkok, Thailand, but where I am right now is in my house in Turin, Italy. It’s a 600-year-old villa in the country, and from my window I can see woods, a field with cows, the city in the distance, and the French Alps beyond that.
Read the rest here: Interview with Andrea Lee