Blog Posts

A Busy Year

A lot of new writing to report. The biggest news is that The Last Samurai Reread was finally released for Columbia University Press’s Rereadings Series. It’s a study of Helen DeWitt’s great 2000 novel. Bits of it were published in Bookforum (😢) and Public Books. I’ve been very grateful for the review attention the book … Continue reading A Busy Year

Yet More Zombies

(Crossposted on Substack) This is a short story I published with the anthology Flight #008 way back in 2017. The site with the stories seems to be down, so I thought I’d republish my contribution here. The Girl Who Almost Became a Zombie I pushed through the crowd of dancing protesters and came to the … Continue reading Yet More Zombies

Interview: The Future of the Political Novel

(Originally published on Substack.) In 2014, I published a chapter on contemporary muckraking fiction in the edited collection, Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase: Contemporary North American Dystopian Literature. The chapter is on fiction by Chris Bachelder and Robert Newman. The essay’s driving question: in an era that has spawned numerous dystopian novels—an era apparently so in … Continue reading Interview: The Future of the Political Novel

“Dune,” Reaction

(Originally published on Substack.) Last year, I joined a group-read of scholars who were reading Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel, Dune, and discussing it on Twitter, in anticipation of the new Denis Villeneuve movie. The movie got delayed till 2021, but the discussion we had, under the hashtag #DuneBookClub, was a lot of fun, … Continue reading “Dune,” Reaction


(This was originally posted on Substack.) On November 16th, I had the good fortune to be a respondent at a Columbia University Seminar in Literary Theory meeting on Sianne Ngai’s new book Theory of the Gimmick. (Sianne was the main speaker.) Below you’ll find the script I used as the basis of my opening remarks. … Continue reading Gimmick-Notes