Tijuana: Not pretty, but fertile

The trolley from San Diego to Tijuana is packed in the middle of the day. We ride through the dry and dusty landscape for about twenty minutes before reaching the pedestrian border crossing. Most passengers walk straight towards border control while I stick around to exchange American dollars for Mexican pesos at a booth. In the hall of the practical grey building, people quickly pass through the processing point for American and Mexican passports. Members of other nationalities take a little longer. After thirty minutes, I step back into daylight in Mexico. Tijuana: Not pretty, but fertile weiterlesen

Héctor Tobar: The Barbarian Nurseries

After an argument over money ends badly, Scott Torres and Maureen Thompson leave their home in the Laguna Rancho Estates separately. Neither of them informs their housekeeper, Araceli Ramírez, who finds herself unwillingly in charge of their two sons. Three days and several miscommunications later, Araceli faces deportation Héctor Tobar: The Barbarian Nurseries weiterlesen

Books, Booths, and Burritos in San Francisco

Sometime during the 17-hour-trainride from Portland to San Francisco, the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest turn into the hills covered by yellow and green grasslands and bushes that surround the Bay Area. The change in landscape coincides with a change in culture. Books, Booths, and Burritos in San Francisco weiterlesen

Brian Doyle: Mink River

Brian Doyle’s fiction debut Mink River (Oregon State University Press, 2010) takes place in Neawanaka, a small, fictional village on the central Oregon coast whose indigenous origins reach back about 5000 years. Brian Doyle: Mink River weiterlesen

Comics and Zines in Portland

If you define literature as book-shaped text only, Portland isn’t high up on the list of US destinations known for their literary production. Storytelling, however, can take many forms in and across many media. Portland’s comic book and zine communities are great examples of making and celebrating artwork that combines visual and textual elements into a unified whole.
Comics and Zines in Portland weiterlesen

Sherman Alexie: The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian

During my week in Seattle, Sherman Alexie was everywhere: He was mentioned during a city tour, recommended at the library, named as one of the contributors to the annual collection What to Read in the Rain by BFI, and I was just one week late to see him read from his new book at Hugo House, a memoir about his recently deceased mother called You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me. Sherman Alexie: The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian weiterlesen

A Literary Portrait of Seattle

Before arriving in Seattle, notions of the Pacific Northwest as rainy and gray prevailed, the perfect setting for the evolution of Grunge in the nineties. Contrary to these expectations, I was met with A Literary Portrait of Seattle weiterlesen

Tracing „A Tale For The Time Being“ on Cortes Island

A Tale for The Time Being (Canongate, 2013) is a book about connections – between and in spite of people, time, and place. The story is set in motion when Ruth, who lives on Cortes, one of the Discovery Islands at the northern end of Georgia Strait, finds a mysterious piece of flotsam Tracing „A Tale For The Time Being“ on Cortes Island weiterlesen

Verses Festival of Words 2017: A Visitor’s Perspective

Since I couldn’t get in touch with the festival organizers or participants, this article is about my personal impressions of Verses 2017. For more information, visit the festival’s website or the interviews here and here.

„Hi, I’m A, and I use they/them pronouns.“ They wave into the group of people sitting on wooden cinema chairs in the backroom of Havana Café. The person beside them continues. “I’m B, hello. She/her.” She looks to her right. “C. They/them.” The round continues until the about twenty participants have introduced themselves. Verses Festival of Words 2017: A Visitor’s Perspective weiterlesen