With Empathy and Imagination: a Review of Everything For Everyone by M.E. O’Brien & Eman Abdelhadi

Ancillary Review of Books


With Empathy and Imagination: a Review of Everything For Everyone: An Oral History of the New York Commune, 2052–2072by M.E. O’Brien & Eman Abdelhadi

Ben Berman Ghan


Under Review:
Everything For Everyone: An Oral History of the New York Commune, 2052-2072. M.E. O’Brien & Eman Abdelhadi. Common Notions, August 2, 2022.


The world loves a good apocalypse story. We lap up imagery of dystopian violence, romanticize the aesthetics of every-man-for-themselves destruction. But perhaps imagining these cruel oblivions has become just a little too easy. Maybe the real challenge in a time of (so many different) crises is to imagine a path forward beyond destruction — one where human beings do not turn their backs on the hard work necessary to live beyond our time of social, political, and ecological strife.

The future that M.E. O’Brien and Eman Abdelhadi present in Everything for Everyone: An Oral History of the…

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Longing for What We Never Had: A Review of Emily St John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility

Ancillary Review of Books


Longing for What We Never Had: A Review of Emily St John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility

Ben Berman Ghan


Under Review:
Sea of Tranquility. Emily St. John Mandel. Knopf, April 5, 2022.


Within Emily St John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility, time is a mountain you climb, callouses forming along tired and bloody fingers, giddy from the knowledge a long fall might await you, dread building. However, when at last you reach the peak, you find your toughened hands the perfect tools for descent. Climbing back down again can be done with confidence, enmeshed in the surety that soft ground awaits, and everything that was once unknown can now be seen with comfortable perspective and clarity.

This isMandel’s sixth novel, building on the themes and premises of Station Eleven(2014) and The Glass Hotel(2020). Its connection to those previous works is sometimes deeply meaningful, and sometimes only…

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I’m going back to school again, again!

I am proud to share that I will be beginning a Ph.D. in English Literature this coming fall at The University of Calgary in the fall of 2022! I am very grateful for the opportunity to resume and further my studies, especially in a department so keenly interested in the critical and creative sides of … Continue reading I’m going back to school again, again!

After Crisis – short story for the holidays

Thick fear spoiled above the oily rooftops. A sterile and orderly world gave way to a teeming swamp. Wildness took root in the heart of thingsPerhaps, there was no after Crisis, but only deceptive periods of rest, where apocalypse dozed and waited until we believed in something called normal again. Excerpt from “After Crisis” Enjoy … Continue reading After Crisis – short story for the holidays

Untangling the Cassette (At Audible.com)

When I was tiny, I still read before I could read. In the dark and under blankets, voices whispered from foamy, tinny speakers, telling me of other worlds, pirates, monsters, and talking mice.  Then everything would go "ssshhhhhwipwip," and I'd have to spend ten minutes or so reaching into the bowels of the sony walkman, desperate … Continue reading Untangling the Cassette (At Audible.com)