October 7th, 2014 | 6:00am

Judith Frank is the author of the novel, Crybaby Butch, and a professor of English at Amherst College. She received a B.A. from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a Ph.D. in English literature and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Cornell. She has been the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, and support from both Yaddo and MacDowell. Marni and Judith spoke online about Judy’s new novel, All I Love and Know, and what it means to write about violence in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user jcsullivan24
October 6th, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user jcsullivan24

In Henry David Thoreau’s essay “Walking” he writes, “Give me a wildness whose glance no civilization can endure.” It is this longing for wildness that drove Thoreau to live and continue to return to Walden pond; to seek out nature whether along rivers, or the seashore, in the Maine woods, or his home town.

But at times Nature complicates Thoreau’s idealism by presenting raw, untamed forcestrue wilderness, rather than just wildnessthat stand in stark contrast to the pastoral that he often evokes in his writing.  

Image by Flickr Creative Commons user UO Journal
October 3rd, 2014 | 6:00am

Image by Flickr Creative Commons user UO Journal

The continent, it turned out, was not ready for people. The settlers chopped down every tree and killed every animal, then started in on each other. They hoarded finite resources—furs, lumber, ore—until there werent any left to use. Counterfeiters discovered a way to alchemize gold, bringing about hyperinflation and economic collapse. The strong terrorized the weak, not just once but repeatedly, hounding them through one life after another. Normal people became outright thugs, enacting fantasies of domination. Dominated people had a tendency to become informal police, enacting fantasies of justice. Every so often a server crash would plunge everyone weeks into the past, to the most recent backup.

Black and White photograph taken in 1956 by Mr. Sumit Hantrakul (Gohng), 1921--2009.
October 2nd, 2014 | 6:00am

Black and White photograph taken in 1956 by Mr. Sumit Hantrakul (Gohng), 1921--2009.

I like pressing my cheek up against the cool embrace of the teak floor, letting the chill lap against my face, chest, arms, and legs. I especially like the feeling of a freshly mopped teak floor. The wood becomes softer, more soothing like a cool straw mattress in the hot summer. When I walk barefoot, the gentle tickle below my feet beckons me to lie down. I like the rush of wooden veins flowing underneath my thighs and arms, brushing them into slumber.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Daniel Pereira
October 1st, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Daniel Pereira

Our grey Swiss building has ceiling moldings in the shape of flowers. These were white once. Before we immigrants took over most of its floors. The only natives who remain are very old. They have no children or pensions large enough to help them flee our foreign invasion. Like Madame Belet, who lives one floor down from us and gives me old, melted chocolates when I run errands for her.