Superheroes for the Real World: An Extended Universe

Superheroes for the Real World: An Extended Universe

But at present I am not losing any sleep over Penguin or Joker or Loki. I’m losing sleep over pressing problems right here in the ol’ real world. So: what if we had superheroes aimed a little more directly at day-to-day, same-size-as-life troubles?

To Love Michigan in Summer

To Love Michigan in Summer

Sumac and scrubby grass, dense-leaved oaks and maples, jumbles of every possible green. Blue spruce, Douglas fir, white pines, red pines, the astonishing symmetry of jack pine trunks in a sudden stand. Dead trees like skeletons rising from swamps. Everything stubby and scruffy and sassafrassy.

Return of the Warrior Maiden: A Review Essay

Return of the Warrior Maiden: A Review Essay

Played by the splendid Gal Gadot, this Wonder Woman is fit, fleet, and fabulous. From a movie-making point of view, though, that was the easy part. What sets this movie apart in its genre is a fresh, thoughtful character arc, one that perhaps only a female superhero tale could sustain.

Salvete Omnes: Commencement Best Practices

Salvete Omnes: Commencement Best Practices

Meanwhile, Harvard holds their commencement exercises outdoors, rain or shine. This year, there was no shine. So 32,000 damp people negotiated regalia, umbrellas, and uncomfortable folding chairs. My husband and I, in a stroke of boldness and foresight, figured out how to watch via livestream in the comfort of one of the residence houses. Perfect.

Preparedness is Key

Preparedness is Key

With everything going on in the news this week, we might as well come right out and discuss what we’re all thinking about anyway: the apocalypse.

Bonne Bell Takes Me Back

Bonne Bell Takes Me Back

The first issue arrived in November. I remember being so excited, I brought it along to catechism class on a Wednesday afternoon. How I gazed at the beautiful older girl on the cover—perfect teeth, clear skin, gorgeous late-70s hair. I opened to the first page and… behold, the mystery.

Dark Vocation

Dark Vocation

Watson basically teaches Sherlock how to be in a human relationship, and unlike previous Sherlocks, this one slowly concedes that following a life philosophy other than “everyone must serve my genius” might actually be a wiser way to live.

Lectures: A Triptych

Lectures: A Triptych

There’s something irresistible and mesmerizing about Coates’s voice. I found Between the World and Me deeply compelling, partly because of Coates’s muscular, precise prose. He’s one of our finest essayists today, in the tradition of James Baldwin and others.

Bewildered in the Wilderness

Bewildered in the Wilderness

I wonder if that is the true definition of wilderness: places where we find ourselves unprepared and bewildered. No solution seems obvious or forthcoming. Sometimes we can’t even name the problems. We wander like those other wilderness-dwellers, the Israelites, disorganized and ill-equipped, chasing after some strange, divine smoke-and-fire. It’s easy to succumb to temptations. There are wild beasts.

I have published books on motherhood, Christian spirituality, and language in worship. I write regularly about all sorts of topics for The Twelve, and I teach literature and writing at Calvin College, where I have served on the faculty since 1996.

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