Short stories offer an entertaining alternative to lengthy novels for busy, on-the-go bibliophiles

Short stories offer an entertaining alternative to lengthy novels for busy, on-the-go bibliophiles

BY DURE-MAKNOON AHMED ’20

Works of literature do not often go viral, but recently a short story called “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian was widely shared and commented on. The story centers around a young college-aged woman who enters a rocky relationship with a considerably older man, and it explores the volatility of 21st century relationships. This theme resonated with a large crowd, as it paralleled the #MeToo movement that spread through social media. Due to its short length, “Cat Person” was able to spread like wildfire and impact thousands of people. 

Brittney Cooper advocates for “eloquent rage”

Brittney Cooper advocates for “eloquent rage”

BY BEATA GARRET ’20

“Friendships with Black girls have always saved my life,” Brittney Cooper said, reading an excerpt from her 2018 book, “Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower.” Cooper delivered her BOOM! conference keynote on April 3, and is a writer, public speaker and professor at Rutgers University.

John Oliver bashes Pence family with his new parody book

John Oliver bashes Pence family with his new parody book

BY ISABEL RODRIGUEZ ’21

Vice President Mike Pence’s worst nightmare takes shape in a story about a male bunny falling in love with another male bunny. Pence is known for being against same-sex marriage — he signed a religious freedom bill as governor of Indiana in 2015, which according to CNN, would allow businesses to turn away same-sex couples “in the name of ‘religious freedom.’”

DeLucia talks alternate histories and memory

DeLucia talks alternate histories and memory

BY RENN ELKINS ’20

DeLucia, a professor of history at Mount Holyoke, was there to discuss her recently published book, “Memory Lands: King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast.” DeLucia specializes in indigenous history. “Memory Lands” retells the narrative of a 17th century uprising in which the native residents of southern New England fought to expel the English colonial presence that infested their homeland.

A frosty March month celebrates poet Robert Frost’s 144th birthday

A frosty March month celebrates poet Robert Frost’s 144th birthday

BY DEANNA KALIAN ’20

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” Penned by Robert Frost in the preface of his “Collected Poems,” this quote encapsulates his poetic thought process. Frost’s poems vividly capture a variety of emotions from unbridled joy to terrible sadness.

Mount Holyoke hosts its 95th Glascock Poetry Competition

Mount Holyoke hosts its 95th Glascock Poetry Competition

BY DURE-MAKNOON AHMED ’20

Mount Holyoke held its 95th Kathryn Irene Glascock ’22 Intercollegiate Poetry Competition on March 23 and 24. Past winners include the likes of Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell and James Merrill. Mount Holyoke alumna Gjertrud Schnackenberg ’75 won the competition twice.

Writers of color make groundbreaking wins at PEN Literary Awards

Writers of color make groundbreaking wins at PEN Literary Awards

BY ISABEL RODRIGUEZ ’21

Poets, Essayists, and Novelists  (PEN) held its annual Literary Awards commemoration at New York University on Feb. 20. Since it formed in 1963, the PEN American Literary Awards has honored authors of various genres, including but not limited to fiction, essays, biography, poetry, science writing, sports writing and drama and offers grants and fellowships.

Author Luvvie Ajayi emphasizes the importance of truth in activism at book talk

Author Luvvie Ajayi emphasizes the importance of truth in activism at book talk

BY BEATA GARRETT ’20

Mount Holyoke College welcomed author and pop culture blogger Luvvie Ajayi to campus on Feb. 22 to discuss her book “I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual.” The book analyzes cultural obsessions, relationships and how to improve them. 

Ami Campbell discusses radical generosity at Odyssey Bookshop

Ami Campbell discusses radical generosity at Odyssey Bookshop

BY DEANNA KALIAN ’20

Ami Campbell greeted each guest as they ambled into the Odyssey Bookshop to hear her talk about her book, “Love Let Go: Radical Generosity for the Real World.” She graduated as an economics and English double major in 1992. Her time at Mount Holyoke, Campbell said, prepared her for the unique task that lay ahead of her.

Dystopian “Red Clocks” fails to connect with readers

BY BEATA GARRETT ’20

Hailed as the new “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Leni Zumas’ third dystopian novel “Red Clocks” takes place in a society where abortion is newly criminalized and adoption is restricted to married couples. The novel explores the intersecting lives of four women and the ways in which they navigate society: Ro, the high school teacher and biographer who desperately wants a child; Mattie, her student who finds herself in an unwanted pregnancy; Susan, a housewife trapped in a loveless marriage and Gin, a “mender” who helps those abandoned by the health care system and finds herself on a modern-day witch trial for doing so. 

Milo Yiannopoulos battles Simon & Schuster in response to release of “Dangerous” book edits

BY RENN ELKINS ’20

For an over a year now, controversial internet personality and former Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos has been engaged in an ongoing legal dispute with publishing company Simon & Schuster. The trouble began when other writers who had contracts with Simon & Schuster spoke out in defiance of the company’s decision to publish Yiannopoulos. Among these protesters was feminist author Roxane Gay, who visited Mount Holyoke to deliver a talk last February, and mentioned that she did not believe she could publish her book in good conscience via Simon & Schuster. 

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.