The Virginia Quarterly Review

The Virginia Quarterly Review is a magazine focusing on current and historical literary subjects. Since it was founded in 1925, it is produced quarterly. The magazine is published by the Virginia Quarterly Review.Subjects for The Virginia Quarterly Review include literature and literary reviews. The editor is Ted Genoways. Contributing editors are Molly Minturn and Kevin Morrissey

Articles from Vol. 85, No. 1, Winter

9 Sencu Iela
ON THE NIGHT OF AUGUST 3, 1944-in the hot crickety darkness of Riga, Latvia-my grandparents did two remarkable things.After midnight, while his children were sleeping, my grandfather-Harijs Mindenbergs-sat down at the kitchen table and wrote three letters:...
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A Braid of Garlic
Aging women mourn while they go to market,buy fish, figs, tomatoes, enough today tofeed the wolf asleep underneath the tablewho wakes from what dream?What but loss comes round with the changing season?He is dead whom, daring, I called a brotherwith that...
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Air and Water
THE DAY CARE is run out of an old boxing gym where corrugated tin ceilings spread like sky and the glossed cement floors are always cold to the touch. Tucked into a northern corner of Long Beach, far past the beach and not so far past the oil refineries,...
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A Murder Most Mysterious
A Murder Most Mysterious by Emily Wilkinson The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective, by Kate Summerscale. Walker, April 2008. $24.95In 1827, Thomas de Quincey suggested that murder was becoming...
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Behold the Man
STEVEN SODERBERGH'S EPIC FILM BIOGRAPHY OF CHECCE HOMO: ERNESTO, FUSER, The Argentine, The Heroic Guerrilla, The Shadowy Power Behind Fidel Castro, The Great Compañero, The New Socialist Man, The Last Armed Prophet, The Most Complete Human Being of Our...
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Che Sat Here
THE MAKING (AND MARKETING) OF A MARTYRSUSANA OSINAGA ROBLES is the nurse who washed Che's corpse. She's a small woman of seventy-four with wavy hair and swollen legs. Her story begins on October 9, 1967, in VaIIegrande, a town lost in the far reaches...
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Devilish Forces
Devilish Forces by Stephen Boykewich Putin's Labyrinth: Spies, Murder, and the Dark Heart of the New Russia, by Steve LeVine. Random House, June 2008. $26IN EARLY OCTOBER 2007, almost three years to the day after I began my career as a journalist in...
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Empires OF THE Mind: SERE, GUANTÁNAMO, AND THE LEGACIES OF TORTURE
"The United States must not adopt the tactics of the enemy. Means are as important as ends."- Final Report of the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, also known as the Church...
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Faces Fleshed in Green
While visiting the Tuoi Sleng Genocide Museum, a former Khmer Rouge prison camp in Cambodia's capital city of Phnom Penh, Binh Danh studied closely the mug shots of former prisoners. Danh, a Vietnamese-born artist whose family fled to a refugee camp...
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Fauntleroy's Ghost
STUCKY WAS NOT A SCREENWRITER by trade, but the market for historical fiction was poor and it seemed incredible that no one had ever made a biopic about Trotsky. Trotsky was the perfect Hollywood subject. History had conspired to preserve his innocence....
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Ghosts of the Cold War
This new year marks two separate but linked anniversaries: the fiftieth anniversary of Fidel Castro's rise to power in Cuba touching off the precipitant Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the spread of paramilitarism across Latin America...
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God-Hunger Redux
God-Hunger Redux by Lisa Russ Spaar A Metaphorical God: Poems, by Kimberly Johnson. Persea Books, September 2008. $14Hallelujah Blackout: Poems, by Alex Lemon. Milkweed Editions, February 2008. $15Human Dark with Sugar, by Brenda Shaughnessy. Copper...
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His Indomitable Self
ifyou wantto gettoyour indomitable selfdon'tfollowthe obvious roads!("The Coastal Road")If poets and their art provide us with tools necessary for living, then Mahmoud Darwish may be the hammer and chisel in poetry's chest, feared by some for his capacity...
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His Own Elegy
I read "The Dice Player" in its entirety in an Arabic newspaper right after Darwish read the poem for the first time in Ramallah in June 2008 - what would be his last public appearance in that city. A few weeks earlier, we had talked on the phone about...
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Patria Y Muerte
Resurrecting My Father's CubaMy father, José Reyes, and his brother, Tom, hadn't returned to Cuba since they were exiled as boys. After an absence of forty-six years, they decided it was finally time.STANDING IN LINE at Miami International at dawn, in...
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Pop-Art Radovan
Radovan Karadzic was once feared as the Butcher of Bosnia. Now you can tour his favorite hiding places.GIGGLES. THE SERBIAN JOURNALIST sitting next to me leans over and whispers into my ear, "This is embarrassing." One of the cameramen-there are four...
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The Askers
EVEN YEARS AFTER THE DICTATORS LEFT, their luggage stuffed with whorls of clothes and cash, we found out what Mateo Musco really was. We'd all seen him, walking his dogs around the neighborhood, smoking his cigar, letting ash scatter at his feet. Musco...
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The Bones of Mendihuaca
El muerto al hoyo y el vivo al baile . . .(The dead to their graves and the living to the dance floor)- Colombian salsa group Fruko y sus Tesos, "A la memoria del muerto"MAIRA ALEJANDRA MARTÍNEZ SUAREZ is sweeping away another layer of dirt when the...
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The Criminal Record
Entre las páginas surge el lamento.(A cry emerges from between the pages.)- Luis Cardoza y AragónTHE POLICE ARCHIVE sits in a cemetery of confiscated cars at the edge of Zone 6 in Guatemala City. Behind the high wall of the police-headquarters complex,...
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The Dice Player
Who am I to say to youwhat I say to you?when I'm not a stone burnished by waterto become a faceor a reed punctured by windto become a flute . . .I'm a dice playerI win some and lose somejust like you or a little less . . .born beside the water welland...
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THE Dice Player
A SYMPOSIUM ON THE LIFE AND WORK OF MAHMOUD DARWISHMahmoud Darwish was the most important Palestinian poet of our time. He was born in 1942 in the Western Galilee in the village of Birweh, before it was razed in the 1948 war that would lead to Israeli...
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The Eternal Traveler
It is Sunday at midnight, and I write in Switzerland, where I am staying for a week before leaving to spend the year in Jordan. I thought of waiting until tomorrow to begin but decided that elegies are better written in the middle of the night- and an...
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The Revolution IS
At the fiftieth anniversary of Castro's victory, Americans still know very little about Cuba. Will the dream of the ailing revolutionary-and his manufactured kingdom-die when he does?On November 25, 1956, Fidel Castro and eighty-two revolutionaries crammed...
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Tropical Depression
Cuba has the highest rate of depression and suicide in the New World. So why does Castro's vaunted health care system deny the very existence of mental illness on the island?AUGUST in Havana is a mounting wave of heat - so consuming, the sun so piercing,...
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