Another Country (1962) is James Baldwin’s third novel (and fifth published book). Many of its topics — race, racism, sexual fluidity — fit perfectly in today’s social and political discourse. And not just in terms of the choice of topics, but in Baldwin’s particular approach to them: a fully open…


Thoughts on The Changeling by Joy Williams

What a strange book. The Changeling (1978) begins conventionally enough. The prose is clear and exciting. But the story begins to decompose as it goes on, becoming something other than a story.

This quality is praised in the introduction included in the 40th…


Thoughts on NW by Zadie Smith

While it is difficult not to read NW (2012) with Zadie Smith’s personal biography in mind, the novel is not centrally concerned with who she is as a person. At least not directly. Because NW is concerned primarily with a sense of the future…


Analyzing the History Channel’s hit show, ALONE

Alone is a reality television survival show where contestants are sent to isolated locations in the wilderness to see who can last longest living alone, exposed to the elements and separated from society. It’s a show about strategy. It’s a show about the beauty and power of nature. It’s a…


The Social Commentary Embedded in ‘House Hunters’ (HGTV)

The social commentary in House Hunters on HGTV is usually subtle, baked into the choices made before filming begins for each episode. …


Discussing The Karate Kid (1984) as a film about social class and class division in America

The most obvious narrative arc in The Karate Kid is Daniel Russo’s growth from a novice martial arts student to a karate champion. …


Arthur Miller’s The Price is a successful example of postmodern drama that examines some of the ways in which competing narratives complicate the question of truth and individuals use selective narratives to carve out a modicum of dignity from an otherwise inhuman economic system.

The Play

The Price is a tightly constructed…


J.M. Coetzee sets the story of Waiting for the Barbarians far from the center of its fictional empire, yet the “history” of the Empire is powerfully present in the desert outpost town. The novel’s narrator, the Magistrate, ruminates on his attachments to this history and he desires escape.

In a…


The term “myth” has become a synonym for “lie” but the fact is many myths are actually true. Or, as mythology expert Joseph Campbell would put it, a myth can be truer than fact. …


If you are one of the many teachers suddenly adapting an in-person class to an online environment, here are some tips and assignment outlines to help you make the transition.

The biggest and best tip is to create a repeatable one- or two-week template for your course. In unpredictable times…

Eric Martin

Eric Martin is a writer, teacher, and artist living in California’s Antelope Valley. His work has appeared at PopMatters, Steinbeck Now and elsewhere.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store