coolchicksfromhistory
nprbooks:

Image: South African novelist Nadine Gordimer poses during the 2006 Rome literature festival. (Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)
Nadine Gordimer, a Nobel Prize-winning author famed for her portrayals of South Africa under apartheid, died Sunday, her family said in a statement. She was 90.
Gordimer was considered a modern literary genius, an important chronicler of the injustices of racial segregation. Three of her books were banned during apartheid.
"They showed how people were living here," Gordimer said in an NPR interview last year. “They showed what influences were shaping our lives. And they showed the many different reactions to it among different people here.”
More on Gordimer’s legacy here.

nprbooks:

Image: South African novelist Nadine Gordimer poses during the 2006 Rome literature festival. (Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Nadine Gordimer, a Nobel Prize-winning author famed for her portrayals of South Africa under apartheid, died Sunday, her family said in a statement. She was 90.

Gordimer was considered a modern literary genius, an important chronicler of the injustices of racial segregation. Three of her books were banned during apartheid.

"They showed how people were living here," Gordimer said in an NPR interview last year. “They showed what influences were shaping our lives. And they showed the many different reactions to it among different people here.”

More on Gordimer’s legacy here.

“Nothing needs to happen to a writer’s life after they are twenty. By then they’ve experienced more than enough to last their creative life.” – Flannery O’Connor
One of our lovely interns, Rachel Jelinek, explores whether or not she agrees with this fascinating Flannery O’Connor quote in one of our latest blog posts, which you can check out here on the TMR blog. 
What do you think about the experiences we have and how they affect writing? Do we need a whole lifetime’s worth of experiences in order to write well? 

“Nothing needs to happen to a writer’s life after they are twenty. By then they’ve experienced more than enough to last their creative life.” – Flannery O’Connor

One of our lovely interns, Rachel Jelinek, explores whether or not she agrees with this fascinating Flannery O’Connor quote in one of our latest blog posts, which you can check out here on the TMR blog. 

What do you think about the experiences we have and how they affect writing? Do we need a whole lifetime’s worth of experiences in order to write well? 

The Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop regularly partners with TMR to bring the “Literature on Lockdown” series to our blog. We like them a lot and so should you! Please consider donating to help them become a non-profit organization. Read more about it on the TMR blog or hit the link above to donate! Even if you are not able to give, please help us signal boost this worthy cause! 

"The only answer that most of Dick’s protagonists are able to give to the titular question of this track at the end of his works is Hell if I know. Good thing you won’t have to worry about anything as heady as that as you jump onto the freeway at midnight as this curls out of the stereo making you feel at least 120% cooler about yourselves than you actually are…it’s just got that kind of power."

- Wes Hazard, “So You’re Picking Up Philip K. Dick from the Airport” TMR Blog

It’s an essay about what kinds of reality are considered prerequisites for compassion. It’s about this strange sympathetic limbo: Is it wrong to call it empathy when you trust the fact of suffering, but not the source? How do I inhabit someone’s pain without inhabiting their particular understanding of that pain? That anxiety is embedded in every layer of this essay, even its language - every verb choice, every qualifier.
"Devil’s Bait" from The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
Our breath echoes in the cold like chimes
hung from balconies above alleyways.
Our path, one of carved scallop shells
on stone markers beyond the plaza mayor,

 

professes the gravel trails and furrows
of almond blossoms where mists
roll back from the laved rock-face, back
from plow ruts, the spade’s cut and gash

 

on the farmed sierras coddled by daybreak.
The world does not waken, but words
its morning prayer. The cuckoo’s din.
Poppies cresting thatch and ditch grass.

 

Before this dawn, this trail for the faithful,
if there was something I believed in
it was deep nights and the way I first
slept beside you, those dozing moments

 

of the chilled, spring wind wisping
from the cracked windowpane, streetlights
draped across the foot of the bed.
I once tried to count how many times

 

we inhaled together, exhaled together,
matched our bodies’ dream rhythms,
but lost the tally with sunrise. I can scarcely
keep track, now, of the snails lumbering

 

across the path to scale the woody cages
of dead shrubs. I don’t know how to
speak over the stirring beehives to ask
if you smell nectar in the air, or if I can

 

gently kiss the inside of your wrist.
Instead, let me share with you a humble,
pilgrim’s breakfast—a heel of bread
torn from the loaf; a drink of font water

 

from the tap, wands of algae swirling
in the overflowing trough. Let me
make you a promise without uttering
a single word. If I believe in anything, let it

 

not be a blessed saint’s decrepit clavicle
or sacrum, but laundry gusting on the line,
the woman trundling a cart of wildflowers,
sunlight—let the world, this holy way,

 

be a prayer of mornings, our breath in sync.
"Aubade" by Mark Jay Brewin Jr.
"We’re talking about a medium that so regularly kills, maims, or otherwise devalues female characters in order to advance the journey of a man that there’s shorthand for it that’s migrated into other mediums.  Comic books are so well known for “fridging” women that it’s a joke at this point, with countless parodies and satirical pieces based on it.  We’re talking about an industry that really doesn’t seem to understand it’s own demographics a lot of the time, and feels a little lost.”

— Caitlin Rosberg,”Changing Demographics in Comics mean Women aren’t Content Being Fridged”

"We’re talking about a medium that so regularly kills, maims, or otherwise devalues female characters in order to advance the journey of a man that there’s shorthand for it that’s migrated into other mediums.  Comic books are so well known for “fridging” women that it’s a joke at this point, with countless parodies and satirical pieces based on it.  We’re talking about an industry that really doesn’t seem to understand it’s own demographics a lot of the time, and feels a little lost.”

— Caitlin Rosberg,Changing Demographics in Comics mean Women aren’t Content Being Fridged”

ll winter the statue stood handless—
her arms clubbed off by three men


the surveillance tape could not identify.


Marble robes still spilled around her
like water. She still bent her head,


eyes cast down, the way my mother,


when the school nurse sent news
of the outbreak, bent to her task:


snapped latex on her hands,


lifted a comb to search my hair,
coated the strands in chemicals


to suffocate the egg sacs, to kill


the mother-lice—their thoraxes
fat chalices swollen with wine—


drunk on the chance for their children


to live. Later, she would warn me about
the lacrosse boy I liked: he will use you


and leave you, and I would resent her


and ignore her. In the Scripture I love best,
the Canaanite woman won’t leave Christ


alone until he drives out her daughter’s


demons. After my scalp was clean,
my mother braided my hair.


That spring, we wove a wreath, crowned


the woman, still handless, in hawthorn.

This week’s poem is Jennifer Luebbers’ “Ave”.