When Even The Greatest Of Writers Grapples With Self-Doubt

For anyone that does creative work, Gabrielle Bellot’s poetic piece at LithHub is a salve for the times when we’re plagued by artistic self-doubt. In relaying her own struggles and in deconstructing the work of W.B. Yeats and Derek Walcott, Bellot finds solace and inspiration in two other writers who also sought to shed the “thick coats of impostors.”

Source: LitHub
Published: Jan 28, 2019
Length: 9 minutes (2,435 words)

How Virginia Woolf Taught Me to Mourn

“I couldn’t shake that crystalline, hyperaware feeling one gets on important occasions—on birthdays, for instance, or on losing one’s virginity. My father is dead, I said to myself, my father is dead. Again and again I said it, and still I failed to grasp what it meant.”

Source: LitHub
Published: Jan 25, 2019
Length: 9 minutes (2,400 words)

Into a Crueler America: Two Border Crossings, Thirty Years Apart

A chance run in with a recently-released detainee drives home that the border Reyna Grande crossed into the U.S. with her family 30 years ago doesn’t lead to the same place as the border crossed today.

Source: LitHub
Published: Jan 14, 2019
Length: 8 minutes (2,139 words)

On the Experience of Entering a Bookstore in Your Forties (vs. Your Twenties)

“Are books to us as leaves are to trees, feeding us while we hold them, then decomposing and feeding us again after we’ve let them go?”

Source: LitHub
Published: Jan 3, 2019
Length: 6 minutes (1,722 words)

How to Grieve Your Friend and Mentor

In this moving personal essay, Amy Jo Burns writes about how the death of her writing mentor, Louise DeSalvo, has affected her, and how reading Alexander Chee’s How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, and Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend helped her process her grief.

Source: LitHub
Published: Dec 18, 2018
Length: 7 minutes (1,987 words)

Can I Get a “McGangbang?” On the Weird World of Secret Menus

One eater wanders through the fast food frontier, examining the culture of menu hacking, to undertand why restaurants honor special requests that defy their reliance on standardization.

Source: LitHub
Published: Oct 11, 2018
Length: 9 minutes (2,409 words)

Going Hungry at the Most Prestigious MFA in America

When the director of her MFA writing program advises her not to pursue a part-time job to help pay the bills, Katie Prout starts visiting the local food bank out of necessity.

Source: LitHub
Published: Oct 9, 2018
Length: 15 minutes (3,898 words)

What Does a Political Story Look Like in 2018?

An essay in which Roxane Gay reveals how she chose the short stories for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2018 — with an eye toward writing that engaged with the political in thoughtful, engaging, diverse and inclusive ways.

Author: Roxane Gay
Source: LitHub
Published: Oct 3, 2018
Length: 8 minutes (2,236 words)

What Future is There for America’s Desert Cities?

The daughter of Indian immigrants looks at race, class and climate change in the giant heat sink known as Phoenix, Arizona, a city where money equips residents with the shade trees and air conditioning necessary to survive the heat.

Source: LitHub
Published: Jul 25, 2018
Length: 16 minutes (4,044 words)

White Artists Need to Start Addressing White Supremacy in Their Work

An essay in which author and academic Angela Pelster-Wiebe considers the best ways for white authors and artists to quit side-stepping the subjects of deeply rooted structural racism and their own privilege, and help dismantle white supremacy with their work.

Source: LitHub
Published: Aug 29, 2018
Length: 11 minutes (2,798 words)