Rebels Who Refuse to Rebel: Zazen by Vanessa Veselka

So I guess this is technically my first ever publication in anything! This week, Paste Magazine ran my review on the novel Zazen by Vanessa Veselka. It’s featured in Issue #42 and on their front page in the books section. Exciting. It’s a book review (about a fairly inscrutable book), but I also discuss rebels, dystopias, and Never Let Me Go.

You can read it here.

Internship, First Ever Publications, Guest Blogging Adventures

I’ve been keeping quiet lately about some of my projects because I haven’t been sure of what’s going to happen and what isn’t. I didn’t want to build myself up only to have myself torn down before anything was even clarified. My god, I’m still so incredibly insecure. But I guess I’m still nervous because this is the first time I’m having anything of mine published. Fortunately, things have been going fairly well and I feel confident enough now to divulge some of these things:

  1. I’m now an intern over at Hobart. My job is to help read and review some of the submissions. This is my first time helping out with any kind of literary journal. Currently I’ve been reading through novellas. I recently heard about how some of the stories that have appeared in Hobart are going to be anthologized this year in The Best American Short Stories series, which is pretty exciting.
  2. I’ve been working on an essay/book review of the novel Zazen by Vanessa Veselka. Specifically, it focuses on characters raised in dystopian societies who refuse to rebel. It’s supposed to run in Paste, although I’m not sure when exactly yet.
  3. I finished writing a guest post for Read.Learn.Write. It’s about my attempts at converting non-readers (specifically, my family) into readers, as well as my own awkward stumbling into the habit of reading. There is a backlog of guest bloggers, but I’ll let you know when it goes up.
  4. I submitted a short story to Little Fiction, but I’m not sure when it will be going up. It might not be for a while. What drew my attention to them originally was the idea of “listerature,” which is a short story form – popularized by Jennifer Egan – written in the form of a list. I decided to try it out myself and liked what came out of it. There’s already been a compilation of listerature already, so maybe they’ll include mine in the next collection.

Carousel #1

So I’ve decided to introduce a new feature to this blog: carousels.

Essentially, this is where I send you on a trip around the internet. Special places that helped define my week, highlights that include fascinating things to read, look at, listen to, watch. Things to inspire and thoughts to turn over. Enjoy!

  1. I watched my first Jean-Luc Godard film, Masculin, Féminin. I’m still uncertain how I feel about it, but I liked just being able to sit down and listen to all the conversations taking place. You can watch the whole thing on Youtube, and it has English subtitles.
  2. A strange short story: The Fisherwoman’s Daughter.
  3. A short poem by Allison Titus: Inclement.
  4. I really wish Maurice Sendak were my grandfather so we could be bitter curmudgeons together. Here’s a video on his work, childhood, and inspirations.
  5. More poems to look at that left an impression: Flowers in Stone, Gender Studies, Advice for the Manic / Instructions for Grieving. You can also listen to some of the authors read their works.
  6. Watching this music video by Gotye should be used to gauge humanity. If you cry, congratulations! You’re not a robot. Not that there’s anything wrong with robots, of course.
  7. I started reading Zazen by Vanessa Veselka, which I’ve been seeing everywhere around the internet. From the reviews, it seems to be pretty difficult to define. You can read it in its entirety on Red Lemonade.
  8. I read The Depressed Person, a genius essay by David Foster Wallace, which is so powerful and convincing that it literally caused me to have a physical feeling of revulsion.

(If you ever wish to include anything in these lists – anything of yours, or otherwise – feel free to write to me and let me know.)