Book Review: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

BOOK: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

RATING: 4/5 stars

“A man is free, at least—free to range the passions and the world, to surmount obstacles, to taste the rarest pleasures. Whereas a woman is continually thwarted. Inert, compliant, she has to struggle against her physical weakness and legal subjection. Her will, like the veil tied to her hat, quivers with every breeze: there is always a desire that entices, always a convention that restrains.

Read More
Sister Justine Nadely--an historical monologue

As mentioned, I write every summer for the Candlelight Tours at Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, VA. These tours take visitors on a path through the cemetery and feature short monologues and scenes based on the lives of people buried there. I've worked up a bit of a reputation as having some of the more, well, progressive and aggressive pieces in the tour, which a fair amount of people seem to appreciate and which seem to get everyone, regardless of their taste for the pieces, talking…

Read More
On Women Writing, and Writing Women

My MFA program was hit or miss in terms of instructors, but I got stuck with a hard miss on several occasions. This one professor taught all but one of my playwriting workshops, and had a field day throughout my two years there teasing me about only writing female characters. He'd rib me about only wanting to torture men onstage, rib me about writing yet another script that had mostly if not entirely female casts. "You know what I want you to do next quarter?" he said to me once. "I want you to write a good, kind, likable male protagonist…”

Read More
On Staying Hungry

[This is an old piece of writing from September 2012.]

I went to see a Broadway play tonight. When I first moved to New York, I saw many a Broadway play, mostly because I was getting free ticket offers for them. Slowly, as I spent more time here in New York City, as my work became about doing different things than the things being done on Broadway, I stopped seeing Broadway plays. In an act of bad theatre studentship, I couldn’t remember the last thing I’d seen before tonight--but whatever it was, it definitely wasn’t on Broadway.

I won’t name the play I saw, because this isn’t a review of a Broadway play. I saw a Broadway play that is incredibly relevant to the times right now, that was an adaptation of a play by a very famous playwright, and that had a cast of people who’ve been doing plays before Broadway. These are the makings of a good night at the theatre.

And it was. It was a good night. It was so fucking good that that’s all it was…

Read More
Kirin McCrorytheatre, rants
On Slow Dancing

[This is an old personal essay from 2013.]

Have you ever tried to teach someone to slow dance? I never have. I’m not sure I’ve ever slow danced with anyone. Maybe in middle school, I think, to a slow-jam R&B song, and we probably had two feet of space between us, and we probably didn’t make eye contact, not once. That, I’m guessing, I did. I have a vague recollection of one. I recall feeling very warm inside, because at some point, I was telling the boy how nice it was of him to dance with me, that he didn’t have to do that, and he said he wanted to. I remember that. He said he wanted to and I felt very warm inside. There was a certain enchantment around that, I guess…

Read More
On Adolescent Feminism

[This is an old personal essay from 2014.]

I was not a pretty thirteen-year-old. It drove my mother crazy, but I was the kind of thirteen-year-old who wore plaid bondage pants (with very little conception of what bondage really was) and a dog collar. I had a slightly girlier version of the early aughts screamo boy haircut, and I swore like a pint-sized sailor. In middle school, I was the girl who shoved boys around on the soccer field. I was not particularly feminine or demure. Sometime in seventh grade, my father told me he’d still love me if I were interested in girls–what a lovely show on a father’s part, and what a perfect summary of the kind of thirteen-year-old girl I was…

Read More

[This is an old piece of flash fiction.]

Outside the window, all the little roofs hit the same height, and all the little roofs hit the same height, and all the little roofs that hit all the same little heights are the same little roofs of my little thoughts; but the basements vary…

Read More
Where is home, and how do we wreck it?

This is an old piece of personal writing.]

He came on easy, the first one. At the time, I would’ve said: like something romantic and mostly cliché—a sunset, waking up in the morning on your own, a nice buzz from the perfectly slow-sipped cocktail; now, three years later, miles moved on, and I’d say: like a disease, equally cliché and perhaps, in this fucked up world, equally as romantic. I remember feeling relieved when he walked in with his girlfriend way back when, the first time I saw him. Not relieved—who feels relief at the sign of another dead end—but it took some pressure off of meeting him. I look into the corners of every man I meet for that glimpse of something I’ve never really seen before, and their pressurized hand-holding meant I could maintain a safe distance. They locked themselves up in his room for those first few days, and afterwards he emerged. That was how we really met, him homesick and lovesick and me already judging him for it…

Read More
On a Once-Botched Job Interview

[This is an old personal essay from 2014.]

I’m on the job hunt right now, having quit my waitressing job at a terrible, unethical, low-paying sports bar. I went to arts school. I have a degree in theatre and English. I didn’t have to work through high school or college. To summarize: I have few marketable “real world” skills. If you want to have an analytical discussion about a line in Hamlet, come at me, bro; if you’d like me to book a reservation in a specialized restaurant operating system and expect me to have done that for 3+ years already, look elsewhere…

Read More