Blurbed: What to Read, See and Do in May 2019

Welcome to Blurbed, a round-up of literary recommendations from the editors and contributors at the Columbia Journal! Each month, Blurbed features a curated list of things to read, events to attend and news from the Journal.

What to Read

“The Raisin Situation,” The New York Times
It is rare that I’m truly surprised by a story. Here I was, thinking I’d get a nice update on the raisin industry: who’s turning profits, who’s coming up with the next greatest raisin flavor(?), etc., etc. Instead, I get the raisin mafia.

“Gene Wolfe Turned Science Fiction into High Art,” The Ringer
Gene Wolfe was a blind spot in my science fiction and fantasy reading. He still is in many ways; I haven’t gotten around to reading much of his longer works. But this story tells his story in such a lovely way.

“The Other Side of the Reservoir,” Split Lip
Consider this an open call to send me every thing you can think of about cryptids.

What to See & Do

May 8: Selected Shorts: Motherhood with Celeste Ng and Mary Karr
A killer line-up this night with some great writers and readers joining them.

May 17: Crashing Cathedrals: Edmund White by the Book
A great lineup right here to tell the story of Edmund White—one of the great queer writers of the past century—and all the amazing works he’s created in his lifetime.

May 24: Nath Ann Carrera: The Early Southern Gothicism Of Dolly Parton
I found a flyer for this show many months ago on an East Village sidewalk. It looked cheaply made and poorly designed in the best way, lacking that creepy, overly polished and perfectly designed aesthetic I see on many flyers today. I was immediately drawn to it. Later I learned it was referred to as “wonderful, striking,” by Hilton Als and “the best show I’ve seen in NYC in years” by Alexander Chee. Seems like a good enough reason to go.—Jacquelyn Gallo, Second Year Nonfiction Student

Words to Write By

“Getting even is one great reason for writing. The precise statement of the motive is tricky, but the clearest expression of my unwholesome nature and my mean motives (apart from trying to write well) appears in a line I like in ‘In the Heart of the Heart of the Country.’ The character says, ‘I want to rise so high that when I shit I won’t miss anybody.’ But maybe I say it’s a motive because I like the line.”

William Gass

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