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Monday, November 17 2014

“Pussy Riot Is a Mask”: The Prison Letters of Nadya Tolokonnikova and Slavoj Zizek

The prison correspondence of Tolokonnikova and Zizek might not change the world, but it ought to be required reading for those with such aspirations.


Wednesday, November 12 2014

Caitlin Moran: Lady Sex Pirate and Working Class Hero

The remarkable author of How to Build a Girl wasn’t seeking controversy; she just wanted to change the world.


Wednesday, November 5 2014

M. R. James’ Horror and the Tricky Business of the Imagination

M. R. James preferred to internalize horror so that the victim had the grotesqueries playing out in his heart and head, rather than in the cemetery across the way.


Monday, November 3 2014

What Would Jessica Fletcher Tweet?

The preternaturally smart heroine of Angela Lansbury's Murder, She Wrote sets a positive example for how writers have to promote themselves in our Twitter-centric world.


Monday, October 27 2014

I’m Rick James’ Bio, Bitch!

The majority of Glow is a blow-by-blow account of the drugs he took and the women he bedded. James either had a great memory, or he took remarkable notes.


Wednesday, October 8 2014

Katha Pollitt on Reclaiming Abortion Rights, Rejecting Shame and Renewing America’s Potential

Pollitt’s new book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights is both a call to arms and a call for honest reflection.


Tuesday, October 7 2014

Beats, Rhymes and Jihad

Hip-hop appeals to those who feel powerless and disenfranchised, which is why ISIS looks to hip-hop communities as potential recruiting grounds.


Monday, September 29 2014

Playing With Consistency Inconsistency: Jeff VanderMeer Takes Us into Area X

The adventurous Annihilation + the Raymond Chandler-like Authority + the existentialist Acceptance = the engaging Southern Reach Trilogy.


Monday, September 8 2014

The Other Side of the Looking Glass: An Interview with Kelli Deeth

Kelli Deeth’s characters, at the end of their wits and their youth, take the long, last painful look into their abating past, only to see themselves staring back at a fated future.


Friday, September 5 2014

Ferguson, Missouri: Real and Imagined

As art imitates life, there are parallels between the violence in Laura McBride's We Are Called to Rise and the most recent headlines of violence in America.


Tuesday, August 19 2014

Arguable Merits: Young Adult Fiction and Its Rabid Discontents

The YA crowd is full of articulate, well-read, hungry hyenas. They'll rip my lungs out for this. They'll crucify me. They'll leave my corpse in a ditch.


Wednesday, August 13 2014

Everything You Think You Know About Human Rights Is Wrong

Human rights movements, says Samuel Moyn, have done a poor job protecting and fighting for social and economic rights.


Friday, July 25 2014

On Those Who Must Work as Whores, and Those Who Can Afford to Just Play at It

The debate about sex work is usually about the spectacle that accompanies “sex”, rather than about the sex workers and the work of sex. That needs to change.


Tuesday, July 8 2014

Nobody Should Feel Embarrassed to Read YA Fiction

Young Adult literature is not just for kids, and it fills an important niche left vacant by much of contemporary "adult" fiction.


Wednesday, June 11 2014

Eve Babitz, with Los Angeles at Her Feet

As the cynosure of the counterculture, Eve Babitz knew everybody worth knowing; slept with everybody worth sleeping with and better still, made herself felt in every encounter.


Tuesday, June 10 2014

Pronounced Dead: The Art of Cultural Assassination

Two critical catfights are claiming to have buried art-forms which have shaped our civilisation for decades and centuries apiece. Are they entitled to do that?


Friday, June 6 2014

Invisible Factory Billionaire: The Minting of a New Post-Colonial Literary Darling Tash Aw

With the publication of his third novel, Tash Aw's celebrity status is now assured. But do the books equal the hype?


Friday, May 30 2014

Carl Van Vechten, America’s First White Negro

What was Van Vechten really writing about during the Harlem Renaissance; black culture as it existed in its own right, or how he viewed it through his own complicated prism?


Thursday, May 29 2014

What Embers Still Burn in the Beautiful Ruins of Riot Grrrls Past?

Riot grrrls wrote, recorded and produced a wealth of cultural objects. They left trails of scribbles, screams and lipstick traces in MP3 blogs and online archives, awaiting release.


Friday, May 23 2014

Of Art and Magic: An Interview with Novelist Porochista Khakpour

What happens when magical thinking really consumes a person or even a society?


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