Ling Ma: William Maxwell, Bret Easton Ellis, and how fiction can do the impossible
Alexia Arthurs: Jamaica Kincaid’s lesson in “doing and being and desiring without permission”
Cheston Knapp: Weird, feral Ralph Waldo Emerson, wily William Gass, and other influences on Up Up, Down Down
Morgan Jerkins: Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist made me believe that I could be honest
Carmen Maria Machado: American classics that influenced Her Body and Other Parties
Eugene Lim: American classics that influenced Dear Cyborgs, mostly in pairs
Julie Buntin: Liberated by Lorrie Moore’s Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?
Nick Norwood: What Carson McCullers knew about cotton mills and misery
Sarah Manguso: Thoreau, Annie Dillard, William Maxwell, and “lessons of constraint” on 300 Arguments
Shanthi Sekaran on time and received magic: Beloved’s gifts to Lucky Boy
Vanessa Hua: Kindred spirits in the heroines of Little Women and the Little House books
Leopoldine Core: Nella Larsen’s radical Passing and other influences on When Watched
Shawn Vestal: The genius of Henry James’s “exquisitely repressed” The Ambassadors
Putting the alternate in alternate history: Whitman, Poe, and “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt”
Dismiss Kurt Vonnegut’s “modest, winking profundity” at your own peril, says Ron Currie, Jr.
Sandra Simonds: Plath, Ginsberg, and an “urgently necessary” personal canon
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