Tag Archives: Fiction

The tortoise and the hare: a pandemic perspective

Pranita Rao  Pune, India   The Tortoise and the Hare. Illustration From The Æsop for Children, by Æsop, illustrated by Milo Winter. Project Gutenberg.  “Are you ready to lose again?” smirked the hare, looking down at the tortoise who was warming up for their weekly running challenge. The tortoise spent his days training body and mind to win races against the […]

Covid-19 and the mind: a short play

Catalina Florescu Hoboken, New Jersey, United States   Synchronized Mood by Oana Chivoiu, Assistant Professor at South Louisiana CC Characters: LOLA, late 40’s TORA, mid 40’s Setting: Two apartments in NYC. Imagine the dialogue happening in two balconies or, for a more absurd take, the same apartment divided by French doors. Time: During the historic […]

An unseen border

T.Y. Euliano Gainesville, Florida, United States   Eyes of the Master. Photo by Steve Robicsek, MD/PhD. 11/6/2004. Permission granted by the artist. “Please let me have the chest pain in 3,” I said. “I can’t take any more whiny kids today.” Clare raised an eyebrow. “You can have the next trauma.” “Two traumas,” she said. […]

Blood and bandages

Patricia A. Unsworth Bolton, England, United Kingdom   Photograph by the author. The notorious Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, is possibly the first thought that comes to mind at the mention of barber surgeons, but how far from reality was this character of Victorian fiction? Perhaps not so far removed as one […]

Up north

Richard Bentley Amherst, Massachusets   Lake Michigan. Photo by Qfamily on Flickr. July 15, 2006. CC BY 2.0. He had come to Northern Michigan, and the lake gulls were shrieking at him. He had been on vacation only two days, but he sat around the cabin, springing up now and then to go to the […]

The anatomy of bibliotherapy: how fiction heals, part III

Dustin Grinnell  Boston, Massachusetts, USA   Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche. Photo by Gustav Schultze. 1882. Taken from Nietzsche by Walter Kaufmann, Fourth Edition. Public Domain. A cure for loneliness In the video “What is Literature For?” produced by The School of Life, author Alain de Botton claims that books are a cure for loneliness. Since […]

The anatomy of bibliotherapy: how fiction heals, part II

Dustin Grinnell  Boston, Massachusetts, USA   Frontispiece to the 6th edition of Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton (published under the pseudonym Democritus Junior). 1868. From the Internet Archive and the Public Domain Review. The placebo effect When first exploring literature’s psychological effects on the reader, it is important to consider whether a book can […]

The anatomy of bibliotherapy: how fiction heals, part I

Dustin Grinnell  Boston, Massachusetts, USA   Man Reading Book showing cityscape, suggesting an Open Doorway. From iStock. Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. —Rudyard Kipling Literature is medicine for the soul In the 1980s, the mother of Northrop Frye, a Canadian literary scholar, was in the hospital, ill and delirious. […]

How to save a life

Sam Campbell Moh’D Ibrahim Johnson City, TN, USA   “We had been happy together, though it took years to convince her family to allow us to marry.” My wife is in Texas, threatening to file divorce papers. I am here, 996 miles away, trying to find Mrs. Smith who has wandered out of her room […]

A form of pain

Ifediba Nzube Port Harcourt, Nigeria   Èsù the trickster by Onyeji Prince. For Yewande, pain is Èsù slapping her head like a bata drum. But no one sees that; they see only a tumor pushing out her left eye, up her palate, and through her nostrils. Most days she smells like meat gone green. The […]