Independent bookstores survive in Ithaca.

When One Bookstore Door Closes, Another Opens

Laura Larson ’85, an Ithaca High School and Cornell University alumna, moved to Ithaca at nine years old. She recalls her love for reading and frequenting the plethora of bookstores available in Ithaca during her childhood — because of this, she dreamed of opening a bookstore someday.

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YANDAVA | Pay Attention, Be Astonished

While people worldwide were mourning Mary Oliver’s death, I was at home celebrating my 20th birthday. I saw the news scrolling through Tumblr, the platform that had first made me fall in love with her work at the age of 11. You’ve probably seen the lines “What is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” on Facebook or Twitter or staring down at you accusingly from your middle school English teacher’s classroom wall. However, although Oliver’s work regularly appears on sites like Pinterest, it doesn’t quite translate to social media in the same, trite way as you might think at first glance. Last semester, I wrote a column criticizing Instapoets like Rupi Kaur for sacrificing depth and poetic language for accessibility in order to gain Internet stardom.

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Family Is Everything in For a Muse of Fire

Heidi Heilig’s new book, For a Muse of Fire pulls the reader into a vibrant, lush world inspired by Asian cultures and French colonialism. The story follows Jetta Chantray, a young Chakran shadow player of the Ros Nai troupe, as she and her family strive to win passage to Aquitan, the home of the Aquitan emperor and a spring rumored to cure madness. But Jetta’s malheur, her madness, is only one of the secrets she keeps. Jetta has the ability to slip souls into new skins, and in a world still haunted by the brutality of the mad nécromancien Le Trépas, the old ways have been abolished, punishable by death or worse. Heilig weaves a complex tale, balancing the powers of colonization, rebellion and a family caught in between.