The Occasional Virgin cover

Excerpt from The Occasional Virgin

Translated by CATHERINE COBHAM. The sea had depressed Huda ever since she was a schoolgirl, bent eagerly over a drawing of a princess walking with her prince beside the sea, while their dog played with a shell. The creature in the shell had dyed the dog’s mouth purple.

Welcome to the Future

Most of the other diners were Chinese; Buddhism was trendy among the well-to-do of the city. I imagined the tower block in the suburbs now housing the displaced granny this courtyard house had been seized from. . . This place had been somebody’s home.

bar bottles

Loss and Its Antonym

I want to learn to write about the loves / that haven’t died—yellowed paperbacks / with broken spines, the stillness of the lake / from the fishing pier on winter mornings, / the people in this small city / I sometimes recognize on the sidewalk / a decade after our bar shut down.

Corregidor Island ruins

Corregidor Flames

Ironic that the only other eternal flame I’ve visited is in Hiroshima. That one an actual fire that takes a bleaker look, burning until the last nuclear bomb is disassembled. And which will outlast, I wonder, bombs or freedom?

Cover of The Consequences by Niña Weijers

Review: The Consequences

This sounds like a satire of conceptual art. And though the result, in the words of Minnie’s agent, is “a weird fucking collision between crazy personal junk and images as stale as three-day-old bread,” it also “adds up” to a work of art that meaningfully explores the artist’s vulnerability and her place in the world. The same goes for the novel.

Using The Common in my first-year seminars has been fun, fruitful, and helpfully startling for these classes.”

—Martha Cooley, Associate Professor of English, Adelphi University

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