Viet Thanh Nguyen: “We, the barbarians at the gate, the descendants of Caliban, the ones who have no choice but to speak in the language we have — we come bearing the experiences and ideas the workshop suppresses. […] We come speaking languages other than English. We come from the margins, where English is broken. We come with financial aid and loans and families that do not understand what ‘creative writing’ is. We come from communities we do not wish to renounce in the name of our individualism. We come wanting to do more than just sell our stories to white audiences. And we come with the desire not just to show, but to tell.”

Margaret Atwood: “Is The Handmaid’s Tale a ‘feminist’ novel? If you mean an ideological tract in which all women are angels and/or so victimized they are incapable of moral choice, no. If you mean a novel in which women are human beings — with all the variety of character and behavior that implies — and are also interesting and important, and what happens to them is crucial to the theme, structure and plot of the book, then yes. In that sense, many books are ‘feminist.’ ”

X because of course X.

Jon Meacham: “To understand the narcissism of the first decades of the 21st century, it may help to realize that it is neither a sudden nor an entirely new phenomenon. ‘There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about,’ Oscar Wilde’s Lord Henry remarked in 1890’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, ‘and that is not being talked about.’ The world Wilde anticipated […] can be explained by a few key texts that illuminate how we find ourselves with a president of the United States who used to call up New York tabloid writers […] posing as Trump spokesman ‘John Miller’ or ‘John Barron’ to talk about … himself.”

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