Columns > Books

Thursday, October 29 2009

Can Tyler Perry’s ‘For Colored Girls’ Resurrect BAM?

Film adaptations from black masterpieces -- and the Chitlin Circuit -- are rejuvenating America's Black Arts Movement.


Wednesday, October 28 2009

In from the Fog: Monstrous Fishermen in Popular Culture

To paraphrase Nietzsche, when fighting monsters one should be careful not to become one, but that’s a major reason why many people fish: to slay the proverbial dragon.


Tuesday, October 27 2009

A Ghost Story of Dubious Origins

No matter the vercity of the tale, The Haunting in Connecticut has just enough creep quotient to keep me engaged, especially since I grew up a few miles from the house.


Thursday, October 22 2009

The Name of This Land is Hell: Mexico in Literature

When the author of a sitcom-styled novel about Mexican heritage cannot resist mentioning the modern-day carnage, then it's fair to assume that the murders have become a significant part of the national identity.


Thursday, October 15 2009

Looking for the Lost: Memoirs of a Vanishing Japan

With its narrow streets and dark and hidden infoldings, there’s a distinctly feminine, mysterious, and inexplicably magnetic aspect to Japan that exists in few other places in the world.


Monday, October 12 2009

Are Comics Like Reading with Training Wheels?

Reading a comic requires multiple forms of literacy and levels of interpretation. Every movement from word to image and back again so as to create a coherent, narrative whole engages the reader’s brain in distinct ways.


Thursday, September 24 2009

Hal Ashby: Hollywood Rebel

Films and books strive toward a common goal: telling a story. And very few modern filmmakers are as good at spinning a yarn as the late Hal Ashby was.


Wednesday, September 23 2009

The Handmaid’s Tale: Not So Sci-fi

The terrifying, 'it could happen today' message of this story is best told in the Atwood's book, rather than the film version.


Monday, September 14 2009

Captain Obama and the Final Frontier

Obama's four-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new kinds of political confusion; to boldly go where no rational health-care reformer has gone before.


Thursday, September 10 2009

She and I: A Fugue

Slapping the word 'Fiction' on the cover of a book is not a "get out of jail free" card or, more accurately, a license to kill – just because memoirs have to be true, it doesn’t follow that novels should be allowed to be false.


Thursday, September 3 2009

Ride This Time Machine Down a Road Less Traveled

Jump into that ’59 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz with the maxed-out tailfins, contemplate what an original Barbie doll could fetch on eBay, and enjoy this roll call of Reasons Why Everything Changed in 1959.


Tuesday, September 1 2009

Not to be Silenced: To Kill a Mockingbird

'To Kill a Mockingbird' is more than an enlightening tale of the racial inadequacies in the South during the Depression -- it inspired people to study law.


Sunday, August 30 2009

The (Indie) Music Industry Is All Right

The media is too preoccupied with the funeral arrangements of the mainstream music industry to celebrate the life that is happening elsewhere.


Thursday, August 27 2009

Rabid and Rascally Creatures: Richard Brookhiser’s “Happy Darkies”

Familial or political, conservatives in America actually have no moral boundaries whatsoever.


Tuesday, August 18 2009

Hockey Skatin’ Singing Cowgirls

Country music ain’t the sole purview of the southern part of the northern hemisphere: Canada has its share of fireside soul(ful) singers, too.


Sunday, August 16 2009

Is Alyse Myers’ Life More Important Than Yours?

Ding dong! Ding dong! Another dysfunctional-family memoir bearing a terrible secret is at the door!


Sunday, August 9 2009

Your Brain is the New Factory Floor

"[M]ore and more, 'production' -- that word my fellow economists have worked over for generations -- has become interior to the human mind rather than set on a factory floor..."


Wednesday, August 5 2009

They Killed John Henry but They Won’t Kill Me

In these days of economic turmoil, massive job losses, and corporate profiteering, you'd expect to hear more rewritings of the John Henry legend.


Thursday, July 30 2009

Rudy Wurlitzer, Bob Dylan, Bloody Sam, and the Jornado del Muerto

Dylan’s beautifully simple ballad captures the paradoxical fear of and longing for death that is the hallmark of Wurlitzer’s narratives and what lurks at the heart of the human experience.


Wednesday, July 29 2009

We All End Up in Diapers: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Comparing the book to the film, it’s as if Fitzgerald laid just the foundation, and from that Roth built a multi-storied house.


//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.

READ the article