More from my review of Kerry Howley’s debut memoir…

“It’s here where Howley’s experience shifts from passive-spectator to bookish-mystic. Huffman was eating shit, his grin growing “with each precisely timed shot to his own mouth,” and then—there’s no way to put this that doesn’t sound loopy—time and space yo-yoed. In Howley’s words, “cloudiness momentarily departed” and she “dissolved into a kind of mist and expanded to envelop the entire space that held these hundred men.” Her body became “a tuning fork,” and thoughts “whistle[d] their way across [her] mind without . . . friction.” The graduate student underwent what Heidegger describes as “the poignant sense of having been thrown into the world without preparation or consent.” Philosophers call this ecstasy. In layman’s terms, Howley woke up.”

Read more at the Oxford American.



Curious about Mixed Martial Arts and phenomenology ? Check out Kerry Howley’s memoir Thrown.

“Passion, like violence, is unpredictable. It strikes in flashes and employs whatever chokehold necessary to keep its target pinned. For Kerry Howley, author of the memoirThrown, passion felled her in Des Moines. As a graduate student in philosophy, Howley was escaping small talk during a phenomenology conference when she wandered down the convention center’s hallway and, strangely, into the MidWest Cage Championships. There, in a room full of Iowan men and spectacle violence, Howley felt the contours of her perception balloon outwards, a sensation she’d read about, but never before experienced, in the writing of Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Artaud.”

I reviewed Kerry Howley’s debut memoir, Thrown, for the Oxford American. Check it out!

My Childhood Espionage

My essay “Suspecting The Smiths” is up at the Oxford American.

“From the ages of nine to eleven, I worked as a spy. No one paid me, nor did I report my findings to any higher-ups. I discussed my cases with my partner, who went by code name Mountain Chicken Mother of the Buddha. Mountain Chicken also happened to be my identical twin sister, and during morning recess or summer afternoons at the neighborhood pool we let lifeguards, teachers, and stray dogs in on our findings. Eventually, the Department of Labor, the U.S. Postal Service, the Virginia State Police, and the State Corporation Commission got involved. Our next-door neighbors were indicted in September of 1998 by a federal grand jury, Joe Bob on eighteen counts and his wife, Jeannie, on fifteen.”