“Animal’s People” and the reality of environmental violence

“Animal’s People” and the reality of environmental violence

BY RILEY GUERRERO ’20

It would be difficult not to note the recent trend towards the apocalyptic — and post-apocalyptic — in American fiction. From the popularity of television shows like “The Walking Dead” to the recent “Blade Runner” reboot to the renowned “Hunger Games” trilogy and its kin in the “Divergent” series, the end-times seem to loom large even in the urban centers around the world. However, for many located just miles outside these steel and concrete cores, that apocalypse has already arrived, either domestically or abroad.

MHC Professor reads first novel at Odyssey Bookshop

MHC Professor reads first novel at Odyssey Bookshop

BY SARAH CAVAR ’20

On Tuesday, Nov. 14 at about 10 minutes to 7 p.m.,  Mount Holyoke English Professor Andrea Lawlor arrived at the Odyssey Bookshop to a buzzing crowd. Packed tightly into metal chairs, audience members waited impatiently for Lawlor to read from their debut novel, “Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl,” which was published on Nov. 1. Odyssey Bookshop’s owner, Joan Grenier, thanked the audience for coming and fellow Mount Holyoke English professor Valerie Martin made beginning remarks. Martin extended them generous praise for their work as a writer and as a professor. “Lawlor’s goal,” she said, “is to get students beyond ‘received ideas’” and toward the ability to put those ideas into practice. 

Just in time for the holiday season, enjoy 2017’s most giftable books

Just in time for the holiday season, enjoy 2017’s most giftable books

BY RENN ELKINS  ’20

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s a great time to think about giftable books. After all, they are some of the best and easiest gifts to give: they’re inexpensive, easy to wrap and the variety of selection is just about infinite. Here’s a handful of the most popular books being purchased this season, assembled from the bestseller lists of Barnes & Noble, Amazon and the New York Times. 

Eurocentrism in English literature classes has global consequences

Eurocentrism in English literature classes has global consequences

BY DUR-E-MAKNOON AHMED ’20

At its core, the study of English literature as an academic discipline is meant to be centered around the appreciation of artistic merit. Various frameworks are used to explore literary works, but the human fascination with art is ultimately at the heart of the study of literary works. While this value is universal enough, the worldwide culture in which the English discipline emerged is biased, and English education still struggles to transcend Eurocentrism.

Centuries later, Latin and Greek classics retain their impact

Centuries later, Latin and Greek classics retain their impact

BY DUR-E-MAKNOON AHMED ’20

Some of the oldest works in Western literature are Greek and Roman classics such as the Iliad, stories which originally existed in oral traditions. The study of these works evolved into the academic discipline of classics, which focuses on understanding the Greco-Roman world through its languages and literature. 

Beverly Tatum reignites Mount Holyoke’s dialogue on race

Beverly Tatum reignites Mount Holyoke’s dialogue on race

BY RENN ELKINS ’20

On the evening of Nov. 2, five college students, alums and professors filled nearly every seat in Mount Holyoke’s Chapin Auditorium. Dr. Beverly Tatum was at the college to commemorate the 20th anniversary and re-release of her 1997 book “Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race.” The new edition includes over 100 additional pages to cover the last 20 years of development pertaining to race in America.

Revisiting Frankenstein, Shelley’s ever-relevant classic

BY RENN ELKINS ’20

In the messy world of inaccurate film adaptations, few novels have been as disgraced as Mary Shelley’s classic “Frankenstein.” Though the title itself now brings to mind the boxy head, stitch-ridden face and ghastly green hue of Boris Karloff’s 1931 portrayal of his monster, Dr. Frankenstein’s struggle has always been much more than a cinematic horror story –– in fact, the original tale is overwhelmingly human. 

Wilde-ly decadent: the 163rd birthday of an aesthete

Wilde-ly decadent: the 163rd birthday of an aesthete

BY RILEY GUERRERO ’20

In the unusually temperate weather, it’s all too easy to forget that we’re in the midst of October. This month, hot cocoa and pumpkin spice should be warming us up amidst a chilly breeze as we contemplate what lurks in the dead-still of the witching hours. But instead, with the sunny 60-degree days and most of the campus still abuzz late into the night cramming for midterms, it’s time to manufacture some proper Halloween spirit ––  and take a much-needed break from test prep -–– with some candy corn and a good book. As October is also LGBTQ History Month, no author comes to mind more than Oscar Wilde, who celebrated his 163rd birthday on Oct. 16.  

Students discuss their favorite banned books

Students discuss their favorite banned books

BY RENN ELKINS '20

Banned and challenged books are often full of controversial themes, plots and characters. But for every person opposed to a particular book, there’s someone else on whom the same work made a tremendous impact. Here are a few of the banned and challenged books that are closest to the hearts of Mount Holyoke students. 

Review: The brave books of Saadat Hasan Manto

Review: The brave books of Saadat Hasan Manto

BY DUR-E-MAKNOON AHMED '20

In the spirit of Banned Books Week, Saadat Hasan Manto’s Urdu short stories deserve attention. In Pakistan, Manto is both respectable and notorious. A few of his short stories, like “Toba Tek Singh,” are part of some school curricula, but others are hardly ever even mentioned aloud. Approximately 60years after his death in 1955, he still continues to be one of the most controversial Indo-Pakistani writers of all time.

Today’s world looks increasingly like an imagined dystopian future

Today’s world looks increasingly like an imagined dystopian future

BY RENN ELKINS ’ 20

“The future looks a lot like the past,” declares Esther Little, an enigmatic, semi-mortal woman of astounding psychic power, in the latter half of David Mitchell’s “The Bone Clocks.” She warns that “power grids [will] start failing in the late 2030s,” and that this is the “inevitable result [...] of population growth and lies about oil reserves.” 

Haroon Moghul speaks about new book at Eid Celebration

Haroon Moghul speaks about new book at Eid Celebration

BY DUR-E-MAKNOON AHMED ’20

Author Haroon Moghul delivered a keynote speech and signed copies of his new book “How to Be Muslim: An American Story,” on the Sept. 15 Eid Celebration in Chapin auditorium. Moghul was received by a vibrant gathering of students from all of the five colleges. The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, this time in collaboration with the Odyssey Bookshop, annually hosts a dinner and keynote speaker to mark the Muslim holiday Eid-al-Adha, which fell on Sept. 1 this year.

Claudia Rankine discusses Mount Holyoke common read

Claudia Rankine discusses Mount Holyoke common read

BY SARAH CAVAR ’19

Mount Holyoke College welcomed Claudia Rankine, author of “Citizen: An American Lyric” to campus on Sept. 5. Amidst the lingering buzz of excitement from the day’s convocation festivities, Rankine received a warm welcome from attendees in a packed Chapin Auditorium. 

Children’s Literature Series hosts author Patricia MacLachlan

BY RENN ELKINS’20

On Thursday, April 6, the Mount Holyoke College English department hosted the penultimate speaker in its children’s literature speaker series, Patricia MacLachlan, author of an impressive arsenal of both picture books and children’s novels, including the Newbery winner “Sarah, Plain and Tall” and its sequels. 

Newbery Award winner Grace Lin visits Mount Holyoke

BY RILEY GUERRERO ’20

Write what you know” is perhaps the most feared piece of advice given to young authors. However, it was exactly this that lead to the first book of what would eventually become Grace Lin’s impressive bibliography. Lin, who concluded the Childrens Literature Series presentations last week, graduated from art school with aspirations to be a children’s book illustrator, Lin submitted her portfolio to editors across the country for years, but received virtually no call-backs. This all changed with a fateful phone call from a small-time editor who enjoyed her work, but felt that the images already had their own stories. Perhaps these were stories that she should write herself, and if she ever did, he said he would be happy to take a look at them. Thus, “The Ugly Vegetables” was born, followed by picture books, early-reader novels, poetry collections, folktales and realistic fiction, all borne of two decades of work, research and drawings.

Childrens’ writer Mordicai Gerstein visits Mount Holyoke

Childrens’ writer Mordicai Gerstein visits Mount Holyoke

“I have never dreamed of being a writer.”

These were the words that opened the compelling, inspiring and highly entertaining lecture delivered on Thursday, Feb. 16, by acclaimed children’s fiction writer Mordicai Gerstein. Gerstein’s visit was the first of a series hosted by Mount Holyoke College’s English department, which is set to feature several other authors of children’s literature in the coming weeks.