Research Students in the News

February 8, 2015 at 10:51 pm

Micah McCrary Publishes Missing Pieces Review, Interview with Eula Biss

Creative Writing graduate student Micah McCrary published two pieces recently. He is a doctoral student in the Creative Writing program at Ohio University.

Micah McCrary

Micah McCrary

McCrary is a contributor to Bookslut and The Nervous Breakdown. His essays, reviews, and translations have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, MAKE, Circumference, Identity Theory, Third Coast, Midwestern Gothic, The Essay Review, HTMLGIANT, and South Loop Review, among other publications. Former Assistant Editor at Hotel Amerika, he is a doctoral student in English at Ohio University and holds an MFA in Nonfiction from Columbia College Chicago.

McCrary’s review of The Missing Pieces (by Henri Lefebvre, trans. David L. Sweet) was published in Bookslut.

Lists are a way of taking inventory, a way of discovering not only what we have but also what we’ve lost. They’re also one of the oldest forms of writing, stretching back to the ancient Sumerians, who, ignorant of their cultural impact, influenced the way succeeding civilizations chose to communicate.

Henri Lefebvre’s The Missing Pieces (Les Unités perdues), translated by David L. Sweet, capitalizes on the list form. This inventory is certainly not one of things possessed, but rather a gathering of things so far gone we might have otherwise never known they were there in the first place. “James Joyce and John Milton wrote their masterpieces,” Lefebvre writes, “Finnegan’s Wake and Paradise Lost, while losing their sight,” or “On the Road: the final, seven meters of Jack Kerouac’s original typescript were eaten by a dog,” are items on Lefebvre’s list that show us the missing pieces: bits of information we find we’re surprised to learn but that should have been, seemingly, obvious all along. Read the rest of her review.

McCrary also published “Interview with Eula Biss” in MAKE Literary Magazine.

Author Eula Biss’s second book, Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays, is a winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. And after the publication of her first book, The Balloonists, as well as Notes from No Man’s Land, her success continues with On Immunity: An Inoculation . What I love most about Biss’s writing, the reason I’ve reached out to her here, is her ability to synthesize the personal and the factual, giving the reader both insight and a learning experience at once.

Biss has earned a reputation as a prominent writer of literary nonfiction and cultural criticism, and her writing, as with the writing of many skilled essayists, continues to pose questions that might be as difficult to ask as they are to answer.   In On Immunity, for instance, she interrogates the subject of medicine and its relationship to race, class, and gender, and urges us to think about health and its ties to our privilege. Much like the work of Susan Sontag, Leslie Jamison, Maggie Nelson, and James Baldwin, Biss’s work encourages reflexivity—we begin to think, after reading it, about the ways we might reposition ourselves in front of a subject.

Read the interview.


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