Author Archives: kuntzlm

Books We Love: Lady Bird Screenplay

Lady Bird is quite simply the quintessence of adolescence. Written by American actress, writer, and director Greta Gerwig, this screenplay tells the story of a tirelessly working family while exploring the often young and turbulent relationship between mother and daughter. Over the course of 2017 and 2018, it would go on to receive awards for its writing and filmmaking. Gerwig’s script meets, falls short of, and exceeds a number of expectations. Through conflict driven by pure heart and angst, Lady Bird takes us through the obstacles of growing up, only to find peace, identity, and perhaps a dose of wisdom on the other side. Continue reading

A Conversation with MU Press Novella Prize Winner Paul Skenazy

To promote his novella “Temper CA,” published Jan. 2019 by Miami University Press, author Paul Skenazy sat down with Sam Keeling, a Creative Writing and Media & Culture major and Editorial Intern for the Press. Their discussion covered everything from Skenazy’s writing rituals (or lack thereof) to the nature of truth and memory. For more on the novella, read this article from The Miami Student Continue reading

Books We Love: Human Acts

Han Kang’s Human Acts, in translation by Deborah Smith, is an exercise in memory and postmemory, a necessarily brutal rendering of trauma and its complex relationship with time and language. In this 2017 novel, which inhabits the framework of real historical occurrences, Han employs strikingly human voices (including her own) to recall the loss of a young boy’s life during the Gwangju Uprising of 1980. Each chapter steps forward in time to visit another life that struggles to understand its own living after this death. The Gwangju Uprising itself was an occasion of death, a violent ten days that saw Gwangju citizens organizing themselves against South Korean national military forces who had killed local university students protesting against the looming Chun Doo-Hwan dictatorship. The death toll is still unknown, recently placed by a BBC News report as somewhere “between one and two thousand.” These murdered bodies are where Han begins, a viscerally overwhelming motif in the novel’s first chapter, illustrating the magnitude of tragedy that Han proceeds to slice slowly into, so that the reader bares and must bear the buried bones of human cruelty with each chapter. Continue reading

Books We Love: All The Names They Used for God

All The Names They Used for God is a debut collection from Anjali Sachdeva, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The collection features nine stories of varying lengths, styles, and plots, albeit all sharing unusual and idiosyncratic elements. What links these stories is previewed by the title. Every character uses a different name for the ‘gods’ in their lives, and they are all let down by these gods. Sachdeva is interested in what happens when one’s life does not turn out as expected. When things are broken, how do you pick up the pieces and move on? Continue reading