Melville House’s Last Interview series—featuring final interviews with Jacques Derrida, David Foster Wallace, Jorge Luis Borges, Kurt Vonnegut, and Roberto Bolaño—raises a question: do we want the snappy epithet, or the drooling, struggling goodbye?
Vancouver’s impoverished Downtown Eastside is cannibalizing itself over a vicious argument between fine diners and the area’s desperate need for more social housing.
As Shereen El Feki writes in Sex and the Citadel, sexual mores in the Arab world may be changing with the revolutionary tide. But what does sex have to do with politics?
Linda Grace Hoyer had little luck as a writer, so she encouraged her son, John Updike, to follow the path. His success might have sparked a grudge, but let’s not pretend that means she wasn’t a good mother.
We are the first generation for whom made-to-measure clothing is exotic. Instead, we drape ourselves in sizes standardized to no one in particular.
Black Sabbath's comeback hit, "God Is Dead?" situates them in a long tradition of dramatic doubters—and we know from Flannery O'Connor that certainty is dull.
Mothers have a long and influential history as a political category in America—and Americans would seem to have a long history of ambivalence toward them.
Willa Cather never wanted her letters published; a new volume defies her outright. Then again, Kafka asked a friend to burn his writing after he died. On the ethics of posthumous publishing.
Georges Perec's dream journals are full of the weird minutiae one would expect, but they add up to a biography—Perec's life in the dreamworld, where we all spend at least a third of our time.
Landscape untouched by human activity is virtually non-existent, and our attempts to reinvent the natural world tend toward the uncanny and disturbing.
Maybe it's hokum, but horoscopes—and tarot readings, too—satisfy a deep need within us for someone who knows the answers.
Is there any reason why midwives and nurses—who would allow women greater control over their reproductive life—shouldn't perform abortions?
Understanding physics is like catching up with a soap opera: very complicated. Thankfully, there are trailers to keep us up to date.
Some biographies are cold and lifeless; others passionate and obsessed, motivated by the writer's infatuation with the subject. They may not be as objective, but at least they're warmblooded.
The ancient Romans consulted Virgil for big decisions, by opening The Aeneid at random and interpreting the passage. If it worked for the Romans, it can work for a columnist eating sandwiches at her sister's apartment.
Degrowth economists argue that perpetual growth is unsustainable—therefore, we'd better contract the economy on purpose. And while this may seem unthinkable to some, it's a lot less loony—or dire—than we might assume.
Canadian literature and its capacity for myth-making has rarely proved much of a match for America's violent frontier stories, such as Deadwood and The Wire. A stay in the Yukon, however, gives the author pause to propose a (bloody) series or two of our own.
What's the difference between an assault to the eardrums and a treat for them? The answer is a matter of aesthetics, yes, but also time and distance.
Why do anything when you can just think about it? No, really. Writers like Geoff Dyer and Lars Iyer (author, most recently, of the novel Exodus) have turned this into a philosophy.
For those concerned with etiquette, there's nothing more nerve-wracking than an extended stay at a friend's house. How does one earn their keep? The answer, perhaps: write the hosts a poem.