The Nightstand

Rooted Lives or Activist Lifestyles?

In a world in which there are so many problems to solve, solitude plays an important role in helping us remember that life consists of more than finding and righting wrongs. Time spent resting and recharging has moral value too.

The Timeless Way of Building: A Review

Why is it that we can all say that this building works, that this room is just right, that this town is good and pleasing? Why is it that we can all imagine some beautiful and perfect home, complete with all its habits and accouterments, but we can’t say exactly what it is about that home that is so perfect without describing the whole thing?

Bewilderment My Bow: A Review of Zero at the Bone

How are all these entries against despair? Insofar as metaphor is an act that creates meaning, it’s an act of hope: even intractable realities can be changed by placing them in new relationships.

Localism Not Integralism: A Review of All the Kingdoms of the...

Self-government by local communities, including some tiny confessional states, would be more consistent with ideals of diverse, self-governing communities.

Boys in the Boarding School

If boarding school stories are exceptionally good at communicating certain universal themes despite the privileged setting, the lasting appeal of the setting offers some lessons, as well. The older we get, the more it is tempting to act as though the challenges faced by young people are somehow not serious. They are. They are serious even if those challenges are not new.

Two Leftists Walk Into a Pandemic . . .

Not only did the worst consequences of lockdowns occur in the Global South, but lockdowns were pushed on the South from the North, through well-known strongarm tactics of neocolonialism that have consistently pushed neoliberalism, austerity, and impoverishment on the South for the last several decades.

The Art of Activism: Conflict and Conversation in Mitali Perkins’ Hope...

Activism needs to begin by fearlessly staring down our own prejudices, by rooting out the injustices we allow. Once that is accomplished, we can turn to the outer world

Politics Before History

It is an MSNBC segment with pseudo-historical gloss. Billed as a warning to American democracy, it is a simple yet pretentious work that will do nothing to solve the problems bedeviling the nation. No conservatives will read it, and none will be persuaded by its arguments.

New Beginnings: A Conversation with David Heddendorf about his Novel, The...

David Heddendorf’s novel, The Terra Cotta Camel, is, as the subtitle accurately puts it, about “hope, new beginnings, and Des Moines.”...

Marriage Will Kill You (And That’s Good)

You can either have a hard marriage or an unhealthy marriage. These are your options. And Key not only made me feel normal, but he made me want to live more faithfully and with more grace in the marriage that I have. For, as he says, leaving marriage will change you but perhaps maybe not in the ways you should. Staying married will also change you, perhaps in the ways that you need to change.