“Imagine a society in which money has been banished. A society in which you would be arrested if you wear eyeglasses, if you wear ties, or if you speak a foreign language.” The Coffin Factory‘s Randy Rosenthal takes a look at Rithy Panh’s The Elimination, an autobiography focused on his adolescence during the reign of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge.
In New York, Gabriel Sherman checks in on Wall Street and finds that the big money culture may be gone for good. "There has been a growing recognition on Wall Street that the system that had provided those million-dollar bonuses was built on a highly unstable foundation."
It’s notable when a respected magazine publishes a short story written in the form of a comment thread. It’s even more notable when the author of that story is Bobbie Ann Mason. At The Nervous Breakdown, new fiction from the author of Shiloh and Other Stories.
Just got a new e-reader for Christmas but afraid to overspend too easily? Many public domain books are classics, ones that you might want to revisit from school or others that you feel guilty for not having read. Here is a list of 10 free books. Or, if you're more interested in paying for newer titles, you can check out our cheat sheet of the favorites of Millions readers and places to find more.
What's it like to win the Literary Review's Bad Sex award? As 2010 "winner" Rowan Somerville reports, "It's a hard pill to swallow ... Despite the magazine's assertion that 'it's only a bit of fun' there's an atmosphere of bullying peculiar to public schools about the whole thing."
"The worst insult people hurl at adoptees is that they are 'ungrateful' and should 'go back' (to their 'own' countries, to their old families). That is the moment when adoption becomes a gift—because that is the moment when it becomes clear that adoption belongs to people like the adoptive parent and not people like the adoptee. We shouldn’t want our birth families, our birth cultures. We should be thankful for being taken from the mothers who bore us. This idea of gratitude can ruin thankfulness. Why should we be grateful?" Matthew Salesses writes about gratitude and luck as an adoptee, over at The Toast. You could also check out Salesses’s Millions essay on novel writing, inciting incidents, adoption, and beginnings.