Berfrois

Nathaniel Kennon Perkins: Mexican Breakfast

Nathaniel Kennon Perkins: Mexican Breakfast

It’d been almost ten years since I’d seen my friend Adam. I didn’t even know that he’d gotten married. We’d casually kept in touch through the Internet...

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Pia Ghosh-Roy: The Wingspan of a Moth

Pia Ghosh-Roy: The Wingspan of a Moth

The moth is blackish-brown, as nondescript as a Tuesday. But it is not a Tuesday, it is a Friday. I see the moth on the windowpane as I’m about to leave for work...

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Leon Craig Reviews Berfrois: The Book and Queen Mobs Teahouse: Teh Book

Leon Craig Reviews Berfrois: The Book and Queen Mobs Teahouse: Teh Book

Anyone who thinks fiction and poetry are dying art forms needs to stay at home and get online more. As Russell Bennetts wrote in The Digital Critic ‘the revolution might not be televised...

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Natalie Lawrence on the Minotaur

Natalie Lawrence on the Minotaur

It all started on the shores of Crete, when the waves parted in a swirling, foaming mass and a bull emerged, crocus white and docile as a dove, with horns like polished olive branches.

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‘Experiment, symbols, allegory: reviewers don’t often like them’

‘Experiment, symbols, allegory: reviewers don’t often like them’

What reviews have in common is that they must all in some degree be re-creations: reshapings of what the novelist has already shaped.

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Follow Caroline Calloway?

Follow Caroline Calloway?

When I was a sophomore in college, I took a creative-nonfiction workshop and met a girl who was everything I wasn’t. The point of the class was to learn to write your own story...

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Eric D. Lehman on Key West

Eric D. Lehman on Key West

by Eric D. Lehman It is in Key West I first decide to become anonymous. In an age when everyone was constantly signaling their existences, I would turn out the lights, disappear into the background of the painting, unplug from the matrix of the modern world. I would unbecome....

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Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #9

Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #9

Karen—hurt and vengeful and angry to see herself depicted in Sarah’s novel as a weird, flattened, stereotype of herself—has come to the reading hoping to “bump” the turntable...

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Jessica Sequeira on Zenaida Suárez

Jessica Sequeira on Zenaida Suárez

La Nueva Novela  is a challenge starting from its title. Neither new nor a novel—putting it firmly in a line of puzzling Chilean monikers like Isla Negra...

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Eli S. Evans: Double Bind

Eli S. Evans: Double Bind

So let us suppose for a moment that we (whoever we happens to be) were indeed able to put our politics aside, thus creating the necessary conditions, according to this detectably emotional woman...

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Sylvia Warren reviews Berfrois: The Book

Sylvia Warren reviews Berfrois: The Book

Anthologies are a strange and somewhat unreliable form. They can lack the direction that comes from a thematic collection, or the unity of voice that a single author (or translator) can provide.

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‘They very vocally disagreed about what was legitimately steamy’

‘They very vocally disagreed about what was legitimately steamy’

The erotic passages were a struggle to write at first. They each submitted anonymous versions of the book’s first sex scene, an approach they later described as “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine,” but they quickly figured out who had written what...

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Marti Leimbach: The Anti-Fans

Marti Leimbach: The Anti-Fans

Writers are used to rejection and criticism, if only because the ones who can’t cope with it stop being writers early on. We have in common, too, a feeling of celebration whenever we hear of successful books that were initially turned down by reputable publishers.

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Strawberry Consumption Vessels

Strawberry Consumption Vessels

Cold strawberry soup stimulates honeymooners. So goes the thought in rural France. Medieval botanists believed that strawberries, being many-seeded, aided fertility.

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Making the World Something Beautiful and New

Making the World Something Beautiful and New

In some languages, like Polish, the word for share is the same as the word for divide. It took some time, but finally this did make sense to me.

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Literary Schemes

Literary Schemes

“Mystery, humor, romance, realism, risquéness—nothing is barred.” In 1915, Blue Moon, a new magazine, sought submissions from unpublished writers. They already had two stories from “a new and original humorist” whom the editor, Alexander Jessup, had “discovered laying tin roofs in a village in central Indiana.”

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Beloved Toni Morrison

Beloved Toni Morrison

What I cherish most about Toni Morrison’s work is the way that she used the English language: to its fullest, across its entire range.

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A Catalogue of Sins in the 20th Century

A Catalogue of Sins in the 20th Century

As a citizen in North America, I have done these things unthinkingly in many cases and knowingly in others, but still I have committed these sins and continue to commit them.

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Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #8

Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #8

In Kwon’s novel, this line is overheard by Will as he observes the young woman of his obsession—Phoebe—drift slowly into the orbit of cultist John Leal.

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Ed Simon: The Final Sentence

Ed Simon: The Final Sentence

Narrative is a strange thing, that little circumscribed universe bound between the covers of a book. Unlike life, a novel actually draws to a close.

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What Goodness Knows

What Goodness Knows

Central to Ed Simon’s 100 page immersion in goodness is a discussion of Judas, who betrayed Jesus. It’s a little forced, but the idea is that without the betrayal, Jesus can’t save the world.

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