Love, Life, and Salvation in As I Lay Dying

Perhaps someday I’ll get around to re-reading William Faulkner, which numerous guides suggest one do in order to get the full flavor of his writing. In the meantime, I’ll step back and gawk, wondering why I’m persisting in this recent quest to get to the heart of Yoknapatawpha County, Faulkner’s mythical Mississippi landscape. I mean, […]

How Not to Take the Lord’s Name in Vain in an Election Year

Here’s an evergreen commandment—“Don’t take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” (Ex. 20:7) It’s one of the top 10 from Sinai and it’s most often invoked when someone believes they have breached it—say when they let a juicy God-based epithet fly in front of the preacher. How many times have I been […]

Of Mice and Migration: The Luminous World of Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom

This review originally appeared on The Englewood Review of Books and is republished with permission. The experiments that Gifty, a Stanford PhD candidate, conducts have the illusion of being about control. A pioneer in the field of optogenetics, the young Ghanaian-American researcher is using illuminated neural pathways to understand the brains of mice—particularly brains with […]