Monday, September 28, 2020 - 5:12pm

I stayed up late the night of Nov. 8, 2016, eager to see the culmination of countless scandals, debates and upsets. I already knew the outcome: Donald Trump’s debate performances were catastrophic, his poll numbers were abysmal and his own party wasn’t fond of him. We could only wonder what a Trump presidency would look like; maybe Donald could have pleasantly surprised us. Regardless, it didn’t matter, because in the morning, America would say hello to President Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - 7:35pm

Surrounded by walls on all sides, with only a yellow light to illuminate the chamber, a lone vat sits. As figures in hazmat suits mill about in adjacent rooms, the sound of shattering glass pierces through the deafening silence. Panic ensues as a spidery mass of crimson tendrils emerges from the broken vat and escapes through a ventilation shaft.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 5:47pm

Many unexpected developments have happened over the course of the past several months, but for me, the most unexpected has been my new-found love for a family of furry hippo-like trolls. It started at the beginning of the fall semester, when I noticed a stuffed hippo-creature my Finnish friend had. I asked what it was, and she informed me that it was a “Moomin,” a cartoon troll that’s immensely popular in Finland.

Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 4:38pm

“OK, Boomer,” I mutter, as I follow Laurence Cook, a senile Iowan farmer who foolishly attempts to divide his agricultural empire among his three daughters, with disastrous consequences.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 9:42pm

They populate hallways of high schools across the country, sauntering to class in their flannels and flared jeans. They cry “like this if you’re a ’90s kid,” while bopping out to hip hop music on a vintage Walkman. These lost souls were “born in the wrong generation” and yearn for days gone by. Fixating on any time period from the 1960s to the 1990s, these angsty teenagers often proclaim that the times in question were “better days” and that these past eras produced the last truly “good” music.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 5:31pm

As enticing as a story about a manipulative mother who systematically poisons her daughter for years sounds, Stephanie Wrobel’s debut “Darling Rose Gold” manages to add an even more interesting wrinkle to this premise. It’s likely you’ve heard of Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP): A child’s caretaker fabricates illnesses to make the child seem sick.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 11:29am

I love sinning as much as the next guy, but when it comes to literature and writing, there is one cardinal sin that truly irks me. The eighth deadly sin, more insidious than its seven predecessors, is the non sequitur (a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement), the tangent, the digression. It’s funny and bizarre at first, but when it drags on for too long, it becomes grating. There is media, literary or otherwise, that is able to pull off going on tangents well, and then there is media that is not able to.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 1:38pm

I am not the first to say that the later years of middle school and early high school were hell. Nor will I be the last. That must be one of the few universal truths of childhood. And as someone who has struggled with mental illness, especially so in those oh-so-cringeworthy years, those pains of adolescence were only amplified. Mental illness is by no means uncommon — my experiences aren’t unique — but there are still a few emotions and sensations that I have never been able to translate fully into words, nor have I seen others have much luck with the feat.

Sunday, January 26, 2020 - 5:03pm

“The Gimmicks” by Chris McCormick is set against the backdrop of the Armenian genocide; it follows the journey of two inseparable friends — brothers, really — who embark on two wildly different paths. One brother, the reclusive and, frankly, one-dimensional Ruben, is obsessed with righting the wrongs of the Turkish denial of the genocide, and joins the guerilla-terrorist organization The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA).

Thursday, January 16, 2020 - 5:07pm

This past Monday, after attending Kiley Reid’s book signing at Literati Bookstore and hearing her read from her hit debut novel “Such a Fun Age,” I spent my night reflecting on the nature of art, authorial intent and what I have appreciated so much about my recent reads.