Weekend Reading

Beale Street, Memphis, Memorial Day Weekend, 2024

Beale Street, Memphis, Memorial Day Weekend, 2024

In 1974, James Baldwin published the novel 'If Beale Street Could Talk', a love story set in Harlem in the 1970s but the title of which was drawn from an earlier blues song that referred to Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. The novel is about the bonds of love, especially those within a family and those that form a family. Most importantly, and most typical of Baldwin’s work, the novel illustrates how the bonds of love empower people to battle the kinds of discrimination and prejudice that destroy lives. And, oh, Beale Street was talking the other night—Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend!

What Start Bad a Morning' May End Good Come Evening

What Start Bad a Morning' May End Good Come Evening

Klara Kalu writes "Navigating through landscapes scarred by strife, I question whether silence can ever truly be an option for those whose words hold the power to illuminate silenced histories. As a Nigerian writer, I think a lot about how to tackle writing about my home, my language and my experiences for a global audience, the line between authorial obligation and creative autonomy, and beckoning readers into a realm where storytelling becomes not only a craft but a conduit for societal reckoning. "

Memory & Identity: Carol Mitchell's What Start Bad a Mornin'

Memory & Identity: Carol Mitchell's What Start Bad a Mornin'

In this conversation between Klara Kalu and Cheuse Fellow, Carol Mitchell, Mitchell talks about her craft, and her debut novel, 'What Start Bad a Mornin'. Mitchell teaches at George Mason University and Klara Kalu is in her first year MFA as a fiction writer.

Something Completely Fabulous

Something Completely Fabulous

"As I say, it is perhaps easier to love America passionately, when you look at it through the wrong end of the telescope, across all the Atlantic water...than when you are right there. When you are actually in America, America hurts," says Rabih Alameddine, in his fabulous chats with Kat Colvert, 2021 Cheuse Fellow.

Blurring Borders

Blurring Borders

Read Stages of Grief in Klara Kalu's new column, "Blurring Borders." Kalu is a first-year Fiction Creative Writing student in the MFA program at George Mason University. She writes contemporary stories that enlighten and offer insights into the intricacies of African narratives, focusing on themes of love, loss, and resilience.

"Art of Living" by Alex Pham launches  "Belonging and Exile"

"Art of Living" by Alex Pham launches "Belonging and Exile"

"But in her I’ve begun to see something, something impossibly bright and blinding and clear." Read Mason undergraduate Alex Pham's essay on "In-betweenness," and his encounters with Azar Nafisi, author of "Reading Lolita in Tehran."

The adventures of a father and son

The adventures of a father and son

What is truly memorable, however, is Vopěnka’s exploration of love. He doesn’t stint from marital difficulty, lust, longing, regret, parental ignorance, and emotional callousness. But neither does he stint from the essential love that binds humanity.

You’re Not A Racist by Bisi Adjapon

You’re Not A Racist by Bisi Adjapon

You’re not a racist; you’re my liberal friend, the one who applauds my Africanness. But one day, in your home, you asked me never to leave the window open lest some ...

An Interview with Svetlana Alexievich

An Interview with Svetlana Alexievich

"There are moments when I become deeply despaired about whether words have any significance at all. But still, our mission does not change. Literature must foster humans and make the souls of people stronger in order to overcome the loneliness that may swallow up humans when they face atrocious fates."
The Asahi Shimbun