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.

SUN STORY SUNDAY | 2099

This week we have a sobering bit of dystopian fiction that reflects, quite conspicuously, on our modern day. The audio component can be found here. Enjoy, but don’t take for granted. Send submissions for Sun Story Sunday to Andres Vaamonde, alv49@cornell.edu. 2099

25 January 2099

Ramona is getting an infant.

Here I Am? Jonathan Safran Foer’s Reflection on the American-Jewish Identity

Open up a newspaper on any given day and you will find an article discussing some aspect of Israel: coverage from Netanyahu’s latest speech, the latest on a clash on the Temple Mount, or an editorial board debate on human rights. In the past ten years, the word “Israel” has, in a sense, become synonymous with “political”. Israel has always been fraught with complexity but it is now nearly impossible to disconnect it from a discourse of debate. There are merits and problems associated with this approach, both of which can and have been discussed in countless other articles and books. Jonathan Safran Foer, author of the released novel Here I Am, is undoubtedly aware of the dialectic surrounding the topic of Israel, and has probably participated in these conversations himself.

SUN STORY SUNDAYS | Ingredients Like Time And Other Unexpected Outcomes

This is the final installment of Sun Story Sundays for the semester; stay tuned for more fiction in January. The audio component for this story can be found here. Ingredients Like Time And Other Unexpected Outcomes

I try not to organize my life into chapters. But there are years when I have time for walks, followed by years of a severe un-grounding of the self and absolute avoidance of small talk. My friend Tamar says that’s called bipolar disorder.

SUN STORY SUNDAYS | Eulogy: For My Dearest Taft

Send submissions to Andres Vaamonde, alv49@cornell.edu. The audio component of this story can be found here. Eulogy: For My Dearest Taft

I bought Taft in 2006. He was sold at a makeshift pet shack beside the I-5, about ten miles south of the Kettleman City exit, where everyone veered off the road to relieve swollen bladders and indulge barely-caffeinated Starbucks Frappuccinos. At first, the shack appeared to be a strawberry stand; it stooped in front of a seemingly endless array of manicured fields and sporting a bright red tablecloth.

SUN STORY SUNDAYS | Workin’ Late

Sun Story Sundays are back with our second rendition, this mythological ditty from Jim Quinn. And now we have an addition feature: an audio podcast to accompany your story excursion. Listen to it on the way to class, on the bus, or on the toilet. Any where you’d please. Submission for next months columns are open.

SUN STORY SUNDAYS | The Easy Rider Cab

Sundays are work days at Cornell. You arise from the chaos of Saturday night and prepare to do battle with the demons of prelims and term papers, striding into Olin or Uris or Mann, tenacious grin and latte in hand. But let’s be real. You sit down, crack open your laptop and sip to the tune of the Netflix opening jingle. Procrastination is as apart of your Sunday workday routine as anything else.

Let us Remember: Julian Barnes Attempts Historical Fiction

The Noise of Time is a novel of threes. It begins with three mysteriously unnamed characters meeting on a train platform, and it is parted into three sections. Each of these sections is allocated a different setting — the lobby just outside two elevator doors, a plane seat and a car seat. In each of these sections, the main character never moves. Instead, he reflects.