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Qandeel Baloch and the Importance of Loud Women

Date: 07/18/2016
Blogger:
Amal Zaman

        Qandeel called out to me some months ago from her bedroom - through the screen of my phone, playfully offering herself to a cricketer in an uploaded video, pouting heavily without any pretense or attempt at veiling the display of her sexuality. We were all instantly captivated, compelled to sway to this woman’s song. In a society where even the mention of human sexuality is hushed out of conversation she was undeniably present. She was unapologetic, unafraid, and so very loud.

        Growing up as a woman in Pakistan teaches you erasure. How best to silently slip into the cracks so you aren’t seen, heard, and no delicate sensibilities are upset. If you are effaced, you cannot offend. This is why Qandeel was so striking: she was constantly flooding the Internet with images of herself, videos, audio files. Dancing as supplication for cricket...

10 Questions for Pete Duval

Date: 07/18/2016
Blogger:
Danielle Brown and Amal Zaman

"The alarming nonchalance of her gesticulation is fascinating. She’s in control, but more than this. She radiates. In her Jordache jeans and home-sewn camiseta, the white earbud wires of an MP3 player draped over her shoulder, she seems outside time looking in. This is serenity. The more he looked, the more radiant she became. He found it difficult to put a label to what he felt—other than shame, because he wondered whether such thinking might be the ghost of colonialism talking shit in his head." —from Strange Mercies, our May 2016 Working Title. Read an excerpt or purchase on Weightless,...

10 Questions for Laura Cesarco Eglin

Date: 07/15/2016
Blogger:
Danielle Brown and Amal Zaman

"Sharp
hurting like stakes
or licking so sweet

How will you take me?"

—from Da morte. Odes mínimas which appears in the Summer 2016 issue (Volume 57, Issue 2).

Tell us about one of the first pieces you’ve written.

I started out by journaling, and then the entries turned into prose poems, even though I didn't really realize at the time. When I was a teenager I started to write poems in verse.

What writer(s) or work(s) have influenced the way you write now?

My first influences were the Uruguayan Idea Vilariño, the Argentinean Alejandra Pizarnik, and the Peruvian César Vallejo. Then came Emily Dickinson, Sharon Olds, William Carlos Williams, Claudia Rankine, and the Brazilian Ana Cristina Cesar. Influences change with time. Actually, I think I am influenced by everything I read...

10 Questions for Frances Park

Date: 07/11/2016
Blogger:
Amal Zaman and Danielle Brown

“Even thirty-five years ago we cut the silhouette of widow mom and daughter. No one had to ask where the husband/father was; you knew that figure was formative but gone and not by desertion but by death, that we were alone everywhere we went and carried his loss on our back. It’s been this way for so long I can’t recall it being any other way; too long in one sense, not nearly long enough in another. I’m not her only child and we all have our roles, but I’m the one who took her arm when she lost her husband.” — from “You Two Are So Beautiful Together” which appears in our Summer 2016 issue (Volume 57, Issue 2)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you’ve written.

In the fifth grade, I wrote my first “book,” a Nancy Drew-like mystery, then began a story about a precocious girl named Betty Lou. Every day, I would read a new chapter...

10 Questions for Gary Amdahl

Date: 07/11/2016
Blogger:
Amal Zaman and Danielle Brown

                                                                                  

"Clement mothers, Sweet Fathers: the Neanderthals laid their dead in graves and covered them with flowers. This is certain, in all the ways that we can approve certainty. It is also possible to think that they sang, wordlessly, and danced, strangely, while they wept. They were, it continues to be possible to think, big sentimental artistic oafs, without the vocal apparatus, without the right shape of jaw, the right kind of teeth, lips, a tongue that did not loll and flex with the articulate power and grace of our later, superior tongues, without the refined larynx, without the properly extended throat, the almighty hyoid bone, perhaps even without the wish, for more articulate speech or abstract language, and the heaven and hell that ensues. (Because it does, and that is why we speak...

Erri De Luca

Date: 07/10/2016
Blogger:
Gathering

Genoa, July 1, 2016,

Address to the National Meeting of the Italian NGO Emergency

In a letter to his brother, the French painter Eugène Delacroix writes: “I’m working on a modern subject, the barricade. His reference is to the famous painting, Liberty Leading the People, a commemoration of the 1830 insurrection.
            What would be the modern subject for a painter today, I wonder?

Banksy has drawn a soldier, his face to the wall and his hands raised, while a young girl searches him for weapons. This is an image of modern war turned on its head—for today’s war, the novelty consists in its destruction of...

10 Questions for Carissa Halston

Date: 07/06/2016
Blogger:
Amal Zaman and Danielle Brown



"The Stewardess was out of control. She was told when to speak, what to say, what to wear, when to change it, how to stand, where to sit, and how to serve. But she decided whom to service. And she decided how. Four passengers: two men, two women. Always in the lavs, always inflight, always all the way. And once they’d landed in postcoital waters, the Stewardess laid down the rules." -
from Emergency Exit, our April 2016 Working Title. Read an excerpt or buy on AmazonKobo or ...

10 Questions for Kenan Orhan

Date: 07/05/2016
Blogger:
Amal Zaman and Danielle Brown

“She promises to call him later and takes off down the street on her rusting bicycle. Askander watches her until she fizzles into the mirage. Fifty kilometers north, the ground is green and irrigated well. On the western side of the river, the grasses are lively and soft compared to the gray and spiny stalks around the town. The fertility of the Euphrates is discontinuous, leprous in its pockets of lush and meager. Askander longs to swim in the North Sea. Any sea. To hold his breath and see how deep he can sink, if only to prove to himself he’s escaped the river.” —from “Amongst the Olive Groves of Mezra” which appears in the Summer 2016 issue (Volume 57, Issue 2).

Tell us about one of the first pieces you’ve written.

Oh my, how embarrassing. I didn’t really start writing until near the end of my freshman year in college. I had just...

10 Questions for Naira Kuzmich

Date: 06/24/2016
Blogger:
Amal Zaman and Danielle Brown

This is the first installment in a series of interviews with our contributors. "10 Questions" was created to give MR's readers a closer look into the professional lives of those who populate our pages.

"When I write, I am singing my Armenian womanhood to whoever might listen. I am dancing a dance about losses I am only just beginning to understand. I am repeating myself, filling my body and the page with all the same notes. Our mothers are our martyrs. What I really want to say is simply I love you, but instead I kill and kill again the women I create in the image of the women I love." - from "On Grief" which appears...

XXXXL: Cuban Science Fiction Now in English

Date: 06/05/2016
Blogger:
Matt Goodwin

A Review of Yoss’s Super Extra Grande, Translated by David Frye (Restless Books, 2016).

If humanity ever makes contact with extraterrestrials, what language will we use to communicate? Musical tones, as in Close Encounters of the Third Kind?  English, Hindi, Spanish, or Chinese?  If you’ve read the novel Super Extra Grande by Cuban science fiction writer Yoss (the pen name of José Miguel Sánchez Gómez), then you’ll know that it’s none of these. The dominant language of the planet will be Spanglish of course! With apologies to English and Spanish purists, I find Yoss’s vision of a Lati-Anglo future both lovely and plausible. An English translation of ...