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Don't Look Now: Things We Wish We Hadn't Seen

Don't Look Now: Things We Wish We Hadn't Seen

Don't Look Now: Things We Wish We Hadn't Seen

Don't Look Now: Things We Wish We Hadn't Seen


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Would that our memories were self-selecting. But often what we remember most, and most vividly, are those moments that caught us unawares: the things we wish we hadn’t seen and have never been able to shake. This group of prominent American writers tries to come to grips with obsessive memory, the uncanny, and the bad dreams that accompany the moments in our lives when we wish we’d looked away, the places we wish we’d never been, and the scenes we wish we’d never stumbled upon.
Featuring essays by Jericho Parms, XU XI, Jerald Walker, José Orduña, Kristen Iversen, Nicole Walker, Mary Cappello, Lina Ferreira, Colleen O’Connor, Sonya Huber, Paul Crenshaw, Alyce Miller, Patrick Madden, Amelia María de la Luz Montes, Yalie Kamara, Emily Heiden, Lee Martin, and David Lazar,
this collection bares all. The authors invite readers into a dream that resurrects a departed mother each night, only to lose her again each morning upon waking; the post-mortem newspaper photos of a former student; kaleidoscope childhood memories of the mundane mixed up together with the traumatic; an unplanned pregnancy; a bullfight and a spouse’s mortality; a teen witnessing the suicide of her father; a parent trying to shield his children from witnessing a violent death. What these writers are after, though, is not the melancholic/grotesque/violent moment itself, but the process of remembering—and trying to forget. They examine the way these memories take hold, resurface, and never leave, and what it means for a life lived long after these moments have passed. These scenes, slowly enfolding us like bad dreams or flying by like trains on elevated platforms, demand we reach some kind of accommodation with them—make peace or make sense or make amends. The one thing they insist with certainty is this: they cannot—will not—be unseen.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814278246
Publisher: Ohio State University Press
Publication date: 10/16/2020
Series: 21st Century Essays
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 240
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

Kristen Iversen is the author, most recently, of Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats. Her essays and stories have appeared in the New York Times, The Nation, Reader’s Digest, Fourth Genre, and elsewhere. Iversen is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati and serves as the Literary Nonfiction editor of the Cincinnati Review.
David Lazar is the author of the soon to be released Celeste Holm SyndromeHe is Professor of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago and a former Guggenheim Fellow in Nonfiction. Lazar is the founding editor of the literary magazine Hotel Amerika and series coeditor of 21st Century Essays at Mad Creek Books.

Table of Contents




My Paradiso

            Jericho Parms

But for the Grace

            XU XI


            Jerald Walker


            José Orduña

Love and Death in Mexico

            Kristen Iversen

Lizard Brains

            Nicole Walker

To Love Me, or The Intruder’s Tattoo

            Mary Cappello

The Red Parakeet

            Lina Ferreira


            Colleen O’Connor

Those Were the Days

            Sonya Huber


            Paul Crenshaw


            Alyce Miller

The Death of the Dog

            Patrick Madden

Trigger Warnings

            Amelia María de la Luz Montes


            Yalie Kamara

Scenes from July 2013

            Emily Heiden

Can You Tell Me What You Saw?

            Lee Martin

Muse of Brooklyn: I Would Never Study but in My Dreams

            David Lazar




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