George R.R. Martin’s “The Winds of Winter” expected in 2018

George R.R. Martin’s “The Winds of Winter” expected in 2018

BY DEANNA KALIAN ’21

Fans of George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series have been waiting impatiently for the release of the sixth and penultimate installment, “The Winds of Winter.” Martin published his most recent book in the series, “A Dance with Dragons,” in the summer of 2011, and fans have been waiting for “The Winds of Winter” ever since. 

Acclaimed author Ursula K. Le Guin passes away at 88

Acclaimed author Ursula K. Le Guin passes away at 88

BY KATE TURNER ’20

Ursula K. Le Guin died at on Jan. 22 with 88 years of life and a full career behind her. Throughout her life, she wrote more than 20 novels, 13 books for children, over 100 short stories and seven lengthy books of critical essays, according to The New York Times. She is remembered for many accomplishments: her multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, her astonishing body of work and her immense talent for creating entire complicated and alien worlds in the span of a single novel.

Toni Morrison’s continued legacy at 87 years old

Toni Morrison’s continued legacy at 87 years old

BY DURE-MAKNOON AHMED ’20

Feb. 18 marks the 87th birthday of celebrated author Toni Morrison. Throughout her writing career, which spans half a century, Toni Morrison has been dedicated to the cause of racial justice. Her raw clarity and courage, coupled with her great writing skills, have earned her many accolades, including the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993.

Remembering George Orwell several decades later as the man whose novels redefined dystopian fiction

BY RENN ELKINS ’20

Most people today are familiar with the iconic quote “Big Brother is watching.” Jan. 21st marked the 68th anniversary of literary legend George Orwell’s death. Orwell, best known for his chilling dystopian depiction of the future in “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” and his allegorical retelling of Russian communism’s rise in “Animal Farm,” is both admired and disdained by academics and activists alike.

New books of 2018 take on the the world

New books of 2018 take on the the world

BY SIDNEY BOKER ’21

With the new year comes new books! To help navigate the slew of new stories out this year, here is a small tasting menu of the most anticipated books, with genres including thriller, fantasy, YA, contemporary and nonfiction. These books here have been compiled from Bustle’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2018”and Barnes and Noble’s “Best of 2018” lists.

Rupi Kaur’s poetry brings identity and collectivism to the table

Rupi Kaur’s poetry brings identity and collectivism to the table

BY DUR-E MAKNOON AHMED

Rupi Kaur is not a traditional poet. She started her career in the same realm that makeup artists, rich teenagers seeking fame and celebrities promoting smoothie brands reside in — Instagram. Her poetry opts for the type of simplicity often found in inspirational quotes. In a world that has traditionally been dominated by elite white men, Kaur’s identity as a woman of Punjabi descent makes her stand out. Following her great success and amidst the widespread criticism of her poetry, her identity is frequently brought up. This criticism leads to important questions about the intersection of poetic criticism and racial justice. Does a poet’s ethnicity matter in interpretations of their craft? Does a poet’s ethnicity make them exempt from literary critique? 

REVIEW: “Hillbilly Elegy” fails Appalachia, and America, by perpetuating lazy stereotypes

REVIEW: “Hillbilly Elegy” fails Appalachia, and America, by perpetuating lazy stereotypes

BY ANDY REITER

J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” is noble in its intent. The author aims to tell a story of his own life as a window into the white, working-class America found in Appalachia, an America that few people truly understand. In the aftermath of the 2016 elections, there is increased interest and even urgency in trying to gain insight into why a large portion of the American people voted for Donald Trump, and the book has thus found a wide audience. Readers will encounter a compelling personal story; however, the social commentary is wanting, full of unhelpful stereotypes, contradictory arguments and flawed conclusions about a way forward. 

“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.”