Memoir & Essay

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Speaking of Memory: Nabokov’s Folded Fabric

Speaking of Memory: Nabokov’s Folded Fabric

EARLY IN THE PAGES of his memoir, Speak, Memory, Vladimir Nabokov confesses that he is a “chronophobic,” that he in fact not only fears but also doesn’t “believe in time,” that he is less im...

The Art of the Essay

The Art of the Essay

WHAT MAKES a personal essay work, an essay that is partly about the writer and partly about something or someone else? This genre has a long, rich history, and Icon, edited by Amy Scholder and publish...

The Navel-Gazer’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Navel-Gazer’s Guide to the Galaxy

WHAT CONSTITUTES self-involvement, exactly? If I told you an entertaining story about the existential dread that befell me as my parents moved from one run-down desert town to another, would you consi...

Unearthing the Fossils of Shame

Unearthing the Fossils of Shame

“CHILDHOOD WAS TERRIFYING for me,” said Mary Karr in an interview in The Paris Review. “A kid has no control. You’re three feet tall, flat broke, unemployed, and illiterate. Terror snaps you a...

Home in the Hinterland

Home in the Hinterland

The following is a feature article from the new intern issue of the Los Angeles Review of Books: The Magazine. The issue, which our interns produced as part of this past summer's LARB Publishing Cour...

On Risk and Personal Belief

On Risk and Personal Belief

Pestilence is in fact very common, but we find it hard to believe in a pestilence when it descends upon us. There have been as many plagues in the world as there have been wars, yet plagues and wars a...

The Era of the Geographically Confused

The Era of the Geographically Confused

MY LIFE IS FUNDAMENTALLY ABSURD: this is a line that engraved itself on my mind after reading Jane Jeong Trenka’s 2005 memoir, The Language of Blood, some years ago. The book documents Trenka’s ex...

The Lost and the Found

The Lost and the Found

IN THE FIRST chapter of Will Boast’s haunting memoir, Epilogue, we learn about his father’s death on a Wisconsin interstate from a ruptured ulcer that most likely had been killing him for days. D...

The Blighted Beauty of America’s Sport

The Blighted Beauty of America’s Sport

MY FIRST JOB out of college, I covered high school football for what was then a mid-sized newspaper in Northeast Ohio. This was in the mid-1990s, before the death spiral of printed media, back when ne...

Besotted: Writers and Their Dogs

Besotted: Writers and Their Dogs

Q: […] But why did you roll in the carcass of that dead seal when we took you to the beach at Morro Bay? A: To transfer ghost-cloak of invisibility, silly. Death smell lends protection. Winner of r...

Geoff at Sea

Geoff at Sea

WHILE READING Geoff Dyer’s latest unmissable blend of new journalism, memoir, and rumination, I couldn’t shake the feeling that he wasn’t actually getting anywhere, and therefore neither was I....