The New Kroger

Introductions

Dear Reader, This legend is a key to the formatting used throughout to indicate topics that will be expanded in future columns, and that those terms mean something more than how they appear: Underlined = vestigial racial…

Interviews

Rebecca Makkai

It was so perfect, it felt written: my used copy of Rebecca Makkai’s charming debut novel turned out to be a laminated library one, wearing a sticker (F for Fiction; below that: MAKKAI, R) on the…

Song of the Adjunct

Panic Attack

Because mine is a commuter school, I’ve come to expect a fair amount of tardiness. Many of my students live more than an hour from New Orleans. They drive in from towns called Geismar and Westwego…

Love and Sensitivity

I Got a Woman

Sometimes I call my woman, “Woman.” Sometimes her girlfriends call her, “Girl,” but she is not a girl. She is a woman. Only sometimes do I quote Billy Madison and say, “Don’t tell me my business,…

The Weather

Pillow Flight

I don’t know where my pillows went. Last time I saw them they were under the door. But they’re gone now. Obviously this is a problem. Those pillows had been doing good work for me. Those pillows…

Letters to Jake

World Views

Hey Jake I think we’ve hit an impasse. First of all, I went to your party the other night, and you were the only one there. Yes, I got there late, and yes, JR had been…

The Weather

Mercury Schmercury

You can tell the outdoor temperature by counting how many windows I’ve opened in my studio here at the Millay Colony. I have five windows, all screened, which—coupled with my room’s extensive book collection, which includes…