A small tear in the fabric of reality

Dear Nicole, Most of the time, we tend to think of fiction as a mirror held up, facing reality. Never mind if this is a clear mirror, a cloudy or an openly distorted one – our gaze rarely changes direction. Some books, however, attempt to cross through the looking-glass: they direct our gaze away from…

Nicole Krauss

Nicole Krauss (August 18, 1974) is an American writer. Krauss majored in English at Stanford University. She has a Master’s degree in English from Oxford University and one in art history from London’s Courtauld Institute. In 2007, Krauss was named by Granta one of the best young American novelists; in 2010, The New Yorker included her on its 20…

And if you’re lost enough to find yourself

Dear Robert, Something strong and heavy built upon a void: that’s what your poem “Directive” looks like for me. You are at the heart of paradox, that’s the place where you are writing from: “a house that is no more a house, / upon a farm that is no more a farm/ and in a…

Robert Frost

Robert Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. Frost enrolled at Dartmouth College, in 1892, and later at Harvard University, from 1897 to 1899, but never earned a formal college degree. He worked as farmer and English teacher at the local school. Later, he taught English at Amherst College and at the University of Michigan, and served as…

Franz Kafka is Dead

Dead “Franz Kafka is Dead He died in a tree from which he wouldn’t come down. “Come down!” they cried to him. “Come down! Come down!” Silence filled the night, and the night filled the silence, while they waited for Kafka to speak. “I can’t,” he finally said, with a note of wistfulness. “Why?” they…

What can literature do that nothing else can?

This chance to become something “I think there were many things involved, but looking back, there must have been some sense that not only was writing a chance to express myself (…) I think it was something else, I think I recognized it was a chance to create myself. To actually decide for myself, who…

Because what is a question but a voided space?

Lost in the woods “We are as forlorn as children lost in the woods. When you stand in front of me and look at me, what do you know of the griefs that are in me and what do I know of yours. And if I were to cast myself down before you and weep and tell you, what more would you know…

the flood of my affection

  this silence like ova bursting in my mouth, my eyes windows shivering behind the storm just before the break I lean my face into the glass pane, something trembles in your gaze, an imperceptible gap: I go          through          it, my mouth full of shrapnel my chest…

The point is not to negate reality, but to peel back its scrim,

Dear Chloe, Your novel The Immortalists (2018) seems to be cursed by the very premise it seeks to explore: the interplay between chance and destiny is not an easy subject to tackle. Your somewhat tamed approach to it, however, is a bad omen. The book is a decades-spanning story of a Jewish immigrant family. It…

Chloe Benjamin

Chloe Benjamin (1990) is an American author. She graduated from Vassar College and earned a M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She teaches workshops on publishing. Books The Anatomy of Dreams (2014) The Immortalists (2018)

The Classics Spin #17

Hello, lovely readers! It’s time for another Classics Club Spin! Participants post a list of 20 books on their Classics Club list. On Friday morning (March, 9th), a random number will be selected by the Club. The challenge is to read whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List, by April 30th, 2018. Here is my…