Suspend Your Disbelief

Author Archive

Reviews |

Livability by Jon Raymond, and Wendy and Lucy

I saw Wendy and Lucy this past April, and there wasn’t any sound for the first ten minutes. Well, not no sound; there were the suggestions of breathing, some ambient rustling. The whispers filling the theater were mainly curious—could this be some new super-indie technique, perfected by director Kelly Reichardt for her second film? It turned out to be a technical mistake, and I found out what I missed when I read Jon Raymond’s “Train Choir,” the closing piece in his first collection, Livability, and the story on which Reichardt’s film is based.

Essays |

How It Feels to Get There: Reading Deborah Eisenberg's Twilight of the Superheroes with Charles Baxter's The Art of Subtext

Quite early on in The Art of Subtext, Charles Baxter gives a tongue-in-cheek suggestion for a compelling story: “give the character exactly what s/he wants, and see what happens.” In Eisenberg’s stories, having what one wants is an unexpectedly fraught condition.