The Paris Review – Speculative Tax Fraud: Reading John Hersey’s White Lotus

Rison Thumboor from Thrissur, India, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. I’m defeatist when it comes to taxes (meaning: I don’t understand deductions and pay whatever TurboTax tells me to), but I’m fascinated by those who aren’t. In 2001, for example, eighty thousand Black Americans filed for reparations with the IRS. Some made this their … Read more

Self-Discovery Through Writing, a guest post by Andrew Joseph White

When I graduated with my master’s degree in creative writing, my parents held a celebratory cookout, complete with balloons, extended family, grad-themed snacks, the usual. But there was something else on the center table, between the chips and M&Ms: crinkled booklets and crude pencil drawings, handwritten crayon zines, stacks of wide-ruled paper stapled together. Some … Read more

On Ally Wilkes’s “All the White Spaces”

ALLY WILKES’S ANTARCTICA circa 1920 is a panoply of polar terrors. The sirenic “call of the South” portends nightmarish killer whales with grinding teeth; frigid “Hell” and fiery shipwreck; an aurora australis that crackles and encroaches, lassoing men and dragging them to snowy deaths; a putrefying body slowly sawed apart, the stuff of Service’s “Blasphemous … Read more