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Friday, December 19 2014

‘American Interior’: A Multimedia Tale of a Welsh Vision Quest

Gruff Rhys' innovative, multi-platform narrative unfolds the beguiling and intriguing narrative of an enigmatic Welshman seeking out his kind... in America.


Thursday, December 11 2014

‘The Copyright Wars’ Rage on After 300 Years

In a historical sweep of trans-Atlantic arguments over copyright law, some surprising shifts and patterns emerge, but the key, centuries-long battles remain.


Tuesday, December 9 2014

‘Yes Please’ Is White Liberal Feminism in Full Force

Yes Please is an honest but dull book that embraces the politics, and thereby the problems, of white liberal feminism.


Thursday, December 4 2014

‘The Red Tent’ Has Regaled Readers for 17 Years, and It Remains as Powerful as Ever

Anita Diamant’s storytelling is exceptional. There’s something here for everyone in a work which is an unquestioned masterpiece of historical fiction.


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?


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