Things American: Control Magic


It’s 7 A.M. on a Saturday in October 2012. I’m twenty-eight-years-old and yelling “Idiot,” “Fucking terrible,” and “What were you thinking?” into my steering wheel. I’m driving home from Time Warp Comics, where I’ve just lost a Magic tournament. And not just lost, but lost lost: eighteenth out of twenty-five at the midnight release for the newest set, Return to Ravnica. […]

Review: Douglas Coupland’s Worst. Person. Ever.


In perhaps one of the only reviews of Douglas Coupland’s Worst.Person.Ever. that doesn’t either eviscerate the book or conflate the author with his narrator, Erin McReynolds writes: “What’s impressive about WPE—whatever your feeling for its lewd sense of humor—is the confidence with which the hits come, so that the misses don’t feel like misses so much as a plot gone wild for the express purpose of portraying a world gone mad.”

Things American: The Boys Of My Youth (Baseball Seasons 1989-2014)


“Baseball breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in spring when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings. And then as soon as the chill rains come it stops and leaves you to face the fall all alone, when you need it most.”—A. Bartlett Giamatti […]

Spreading the Literary Love


A while back, Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist, was on KUT, our local NPR station, talking about how important it is to be engaged and active in your creative community. One quote of his that stuck with me was this: “You have to be a fan to have fans.” […]

The Magic of Helen Oyeyemi’s Mirrors


Toward the beginning of Helen Oyeyemi’s fourth and latest novel, Boy, Snow, Bird, narrator Boy Novak Whitman offers us a dictionary-style definition of the word “mirror.” Mirrors and other reflective surfaces pop up constantly throughout Oyeyemi’s novel, taunting and teasing many of her characters. They have the ability to highlight the onlooker’s secrets and inner fears, to bewitch, to entrance, to bring out one’s multifaceted—and, at times, conflicting—self. […]

Things American: Nic Pizzolatto’s Women Before True Detective


In honor of all of the breathless praise accompanying the release of HBO’s new crime noir series True Detective, The Atlantic is urging readers to revisit two short stories by Nicolas Pizzolatto, the show’s creator. The stories appeared in the magazine ten years ago, when Pizzolatto was an MFA student at the University of Arkansas […]

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