Columns > Books

Wednesday, April 26 2017

Joy Kogawa’s Latest Asks: Is There a Limit to Our Capacity to Forgive?

From the atomic bombing of Nagasaki to her father's pedophilia, Kogawa embarks on a brutally honest and personal exploration of the nature of guilt and forgiveness.


Thursday, April 20 2017

Detachment and Re-attachment: The Mind of a Hermit No More

Christopher Knight disappeared into the woods at the age of 20 and returned at 47 without a masterpiece, without a testimony of life’s greater purpose, without anything profound to convey.


Tuesday, April 18 2017

Istanbul: From Emperors to Street Vendors

Historian Thomas F. Madden's Istanbul leaves one with a sense of awe for how much of the human experience is on display in this one city, in this part of the world.


Monday, April 17 2017

Authenticity and Unbroken Chains in Rick Massimo’s ‘I Got a Song’

This book is about true believers who kept the torch burning for “authenticity” in folk music at any cost; even if it meant cultural appropriation and commercial compromising.


Wednesday, April 12 2017

Alfred Hitchcock May Be a Moralist, but He Does Not Moralize

Hitchcock’s Moral Gaze argues that Hitchcock examined the darkest edges of his characters to help his audience understand their connection with the act of watching, gazing, and sometimes not connecting.


Monday, April 10 2017

What Can Today’s Activists Learn From the Vietnam Anti-war Movement?

The lessons of the Vietnam peace movement are at risk of being distorted and forgotten, argues one of its founding voices.


Wednesday, March 29 2017

Tina Turner Got It Right: We Don’t Need More Heroes

Jordan Flaherty's No More Heroes argues that the greatest danger to progressive movements often comes from within.


Thursday, March 23 2017

What Is It About Teens Behind Closed Doors That Scares Us So?

Jason Reid’s Get Out of My Room! takes us inside the private enclaves of the adolescent being, revealing both individual and collective anxieties and expectations.


Wednesday, March 15 2017

‘Egg’: Bloomsbury’s Eggscellent Mission

Does Humpty Dumpty freak you out more or less than salmonella? Bloomsbury's Object Lessons books offer fodder for daily mindfulness.


Tuesday, March 14 2017

How Far Will an Incomplete Woman Go to Obtain Her Sense of Self?

Much in the way the women of Persona and 3 Women assimilate into lives of their objects of affection, the women of Single White Female experience a similar fatal mutualism.


Monday, March 13 2017

Has Corporate Malfeasance Signaled an End to Law and Order in America?

Has the US become a country where crime pays? Could the corporate death penalty help rein in America's criminal banks?


Friday, March 10 2017

These ‘70s Avant-Garde Jazz Musicians Blew Freely, Fiercely, and Reverently

These cats blew all night and day a new, astonishing page into the jazz lexicon. What they couldn't do was get gigs in jazz clubs.


Friday, March 3 2017

Still Living Dangerously After All These Years

As autocratic leaders slowly take over the First World, popular representations of a Third World coup take on renewed significance.


The World Is an Unfair Place: An Interview With Min Jin Lee

Min Jin Lee’s novel Pachinko is a multi-generational look at the little-known plight of Koreans living in Japan.


Tuesday, February 28 2017

How to Study Kafka in East Berlin Without Really Trying

A review of Schadenfreude, a Love Story, including some personal observations and self-identification that connect to a memoir with a really long title and lots of German words


Monday, February 27 2017

‘Muslim Cool’ Puts Its Faith in Hip-Hop, and Hip-Hop in Its Faith

Where Chance the Rapper injects spirituality into hip-hop, Muslim Cool injects hip-hop into spirituality.


Friday, February 17 2017

It’s a Wonderful Death: A Thanksgiving Carol

This novel is reminiscent of Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol -- but with a twist.


Thursday, February 9 2017

The Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones’ Memoir ‘Lonely Boy’ Leaves One Wondering

If punk died the day the Clash signed to CBS, what were Rotten, Jones, Cook, and Matlock doing reforming the Sex Pistols in 1996?


Friday, February 3 2017

Philippe Druillet’s Lone Sloane Adventures Artfully Take You to Other Worlds

These books create a visually mesmerizing mix of sci-fi and fantasy, where rocket ships cause men to stumble upon gods and monsters that occupy the distant corners of the universe.


Wednesday, January 18 2017

Barack Obama Bio ‘Audacity’ Is at War With Itself

Chait's defense of gradualist politics-as-usual undermines the supposedly audacious achievements of President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.


//Mixed media
//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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