From Uncategorized

Review: Afterlife by Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez’s new novel begins with verse, not prose, in a prologue titled “Broken English.” Her narrator Antonia Vega recalls the death of her husband in a car accident a year ago: “she keeps asking / Where are you? / as this is the only way she knows / Can you help me find him? / how to create an afterlife for him.” The prologue’s title points to the racism that Antonia, a Dominican-American literature professor in rural Vermont, faces as she “teach[es] Americans their own language.” But it also depicts poetry, with its line breaks and often unpredictable rhythms,…

Close Reading Series: Sofia Montrone on “(46)” and “(47)”

The Close Reading Series invites our board editors to write about a favorite piece from our Spring 2020 issue. These readings are not intended to be definitive interpretations; when we read, we bring with us our own histories, experiences, and references, all of which guide our relationship to the work before us. It is possible,…

“My fantasy of a memoir about nothing”: Kate Zambreno’s Drifts

Kate Zambreno’s latest work of autofiction, Drifts, is a novel about the process of writing a novel, or, at least, the process of thinking about one. The narrator, a lightly-fictionalized version of Zambreno, ekes out a living as an adjunct professor as she attempts to write a novel, Drifts, “that contains the energy of thought.”…

In Support of BLM: Organizations to Donate to

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture: https://www.nypl.org/support/membership/schomburg-society “Harlem’s beloved NYPL branch—a research institution, community center, and artistic stronghold dedicated to Black history and thought—dedicates itself as much to historical preservation of Black lives as to present and future activism.” –Ryan Daar The Loveland Foundation: https://thelovelandfoundation.org/ “The Loveland Therapy Fund provides financial assistance for Black women and girls in the U.S. to access mental health professionals and therapy sessions. It is committed to supporting the mental healing and wellbeing of Black women and girls: therapy sessions can cost anywhere from $80-$200, and Loveland works to ensure that recipients will…

Apocalypse Now: Reading Severance in the Time of Coronavirus

Severance / Ling Ma / Picador, 05/2019 – $17 (Paperback) The routine has become automatic. In the mornings I stand bleary-eyed at the counter and wait for the kettle’s wail. I look at emails for work or articles for class or ads for eco-friendly activewear. It doesn’t matter. There are classes in the afternoon, and…

Prompts for Quarantine

In response to the quarantine, The Columbia Review editorial board will share every other day a series of prompts, which we hope will inspire our readers. 1. Think about space. Think about the space that separates you from the computer, the space that separates you from the outside world. How does the space feel that…

Loneliness and Fiction

I woke up on a Monday with the feelings I get too often: feelings of wrongness and sadness and fear. The ones that tell me I am quite alone because such a feeling is too cruel to be human and therefore, I am the only alien on earth who can feel it at all. I…

Selected Works by Women Writers: A Recommended Reading List

In honor of International Women’s Day, the board has put together a list of works written by women that we feel people should be reading more. Enjoy! Gertrude Stein – “Melanctha” “Stein wrote ‘Melanctha’ in an immensely innovative style that removes narrative authority and places plot firmly in present tense. The novel rejected the conventional…

Kenneth Koch Poetry Prize Winners

Congratulations to the recipients of the Kenneth Koch Poetry Prize in honor of our 100th volume: Mackenzie Turgeon CC’21 for her poem “American Studies for Black Kids” and Morgan Levine CC’22 for her poem “Ballad for O’Keefe Finding an Angel in a Canyon.”

100th Volume Retrospective: Untitled by Kate Farrell

Kate Farrell has taught poetry in nursing homes, in public schools, and at Columbia. She has published multiple books, including poetry anthologies coauthored with Kenneth Koch. Untitled by Kate Farrell Most of all, her hairsmells like shampoocatching on shouldersthen waves dark brownnearly to her waist.Her neck is so straight, and thin that onecan imagine her…