Allison Zimmer


A Gate at the Stairs

lorrie moore and the post 9/11 novel

A Gate at the Stairs, Lorrie Moore’s latest book, is a novel that encapsulates—in its plot, its aesthetics and even its reception—what it means to write fiction after September 11. Since that infamous day, much alarm has been raised regarding the state of fiction: Is it still possible to write a novel? Can fiction capture…

Early Breakthrough

the perks of being a young adult author

When Hannah Moskowitz ’13 eats pizza at the Gate, she brings her laptop, her headphones, and the phone number of her agent, Brendan Deneen of the New York City literary agency FinePrint. When she sits down on one of the plushy couches in the Gate’s dining area—one of her favorite places on campus to write,…

Cover Magic

the old cape magic spells charm

It’s easy to judge a book by its cover; or, rather, it’s difficult not to. There are certain aesthetic rules that guide me when choosing books to read—not without exception of course, but operating as loose patterns of consumption. You will probably never see me reading a mass-market paperback with chunky embossed lettering.  Likewise, any…

Hot on the Press


This fall season will find the New Release table at your neighborhood bookstore (or large and impersonal mega-chain, as the case may be) light on fictional material. In an effort to boost sales, it seems publishing companies are trying to reach out to the politician, economist, and general nonfiction enthusiast inside us all. Herewith, some…

End of Summer Lit

There was a time when summer reading lists were not such a chore, back when my town library still had funding and used it to decorate the children’s section with construction paper dragons and cardboard Harry Potters. It was a time before literary guilt set in, before I worried about tackling lists or canons, and devoured everything in my sight.