Articles Read & Loved no. 1

In conversation: Kiran Desai meets Anita Desai

It’s delightful to see mother and daughter, both brilliant authors, chat about each other’s books and writing while being familiar with each other as well as opinionated about each other in a way that only mothers and daughters can. Initially I think this was meant to be Kiran interviewing her mother, but the questioning quickly becomes mutual and if you’ve ever read either of their writings, there’s a lot of insight into their influences and their thematic interests.

Don’t Be a Stranger by Adrian Chen

A response to the op-eds that denigrate social media for crippling our ability to form authentic “real world” friendships that doesn’t ignore how much of the internet is anonymous and shallow while also acknowledging that (to the dismay of op-eds) there are real and complex friendships being forged in online communities.

The Ideal English Major by Mark Edmundson

If you’re an English major, maybe consider printing out a copy of this article and keeping it on hand to shove in the face of the next family member who disparages your academic choices. I can’t lie, I mainly enjoyed this article because it validated me, an English major, and my (according to my family and the friends of my parents) unfortunate life choice of becoming an English major. The article’s argument (“an English major is someone who has decided, against all kinds of pious, prudent advice and all kinds of fears and resistances, to major, quite simply, in becoming a person”) is a little grandiose and the article should probably come with a label, “warning: may cause arrogance and delusions of self-grandeur in English majors”, but fuck it, studying literature is a worthwhile endeavour and it deserves all the validation.

The Sacred and The Profane by Anita Felicelli

A critique of how India has been reduced to a series of exoticized images and narratives, dichotomized into the sacred and the profane, for the North-American literary market and how to consume one Indian fiction novel is to consume them all.

On Reading by Cynthia Cruz

“Reading is a kind of death. One exits one’s life, is gone from the world. If my telephone rings, if my beloved calls out my name, I am no longer here. I don’t exist. Dead to the world. And reading erases the world. When I am deep in a book, my life no longer exists. The city I live in, the people I love, it all vanishes just as soon as I open a book and begin to read.”

I Read Everything Jane Austen Wrote, Several Times by Adelle Waldman

A ranking of Jane Austen’s works that offers insight into each novel and its strengths and weaknesses.

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