Columns > Books

Thursday, August 15 2013

Eat, Drink, Draw: Lucy Knisley’s Comic Book ‘Relish’ as a Cookbook

Drawing her recipes for Relish, Lucy Knisley almost literally shows cooking to be more art than science.


Monday, August 12 2013

Thrift, Schemes & Restlessness Characterize Both Katherine & J.F. Powers’ Writing

"I am not by nature cut out for this life, as it's defined in these parts by the chamber of commerce and our bishop, who is devoted to Christian family living, as everyone knows." This deadpan tone suits J.F. Powers and his conflicted, capitalist, Midwestern, mid-century priests well.


Sunday, August 4 2013

Marty Beckerman Talks About Love in the Time of JNCO Pants

Marty Beckerman talks about his hilarious new novella, '90s Island, the "infantilizing" nature of nostalgia, and why the truly cool people never got frosted tips.


Thursday, July 18 2013

Climbing Out of the Transhuman Stew Pot, or, Why I’m Not a Singularitarian

The big trend in apocalyptic thinking is now computer based, and it’s strangely not even billed as apocalyptic. It’s known as the Singularity, a point in the near future when computers become more intelligent than people -- and they absorb us.


Monday, July 15 2013

How to Best Handle Controversial, Racially-Charged Art? Talk It Up, or Shut It Down?

If Disney's Song of the South is as innocuous as its adherents claim, they need to think long and hard about why it’s out of official circulation.


Monday, July 8 2013

Caroline Leavitt at a Crossroads: ‘Is This Tomorrow’

New York Times best-selling author Caroline Leavitt discusses her new novel about a family who must brave the hostile status quo of '50s American suburban life while being as different from their neighbors as possible.


Sunday, June 30 2013

Country Music Ain’t Black & White: ‘Hidden in the Mix’

These explorations of the African-American presence in country music are welcome at a time when country music is treated, by insiders and outsiders, as a purely white genre, and exceptions to that are treated as aberrations, gimmicks or novelty songs.


Monday, June 24 2013

‘It Begins and Ends With Love’: A Conversation with Trans Activist Jennifer Finney Boylan

Best-selling author and transgender activist Jennifer Finney Boylan discusses her new memoir in a conversation that explores the transformative power of storytelling, the redefinition of family values, and the radical potential of love.


Sunday, June 9 2013

God Hates You, But Fred Phelps Doesn’t

The Pastor of Westboro Baptist Church is one of the most hated men in the US. That's OK with him, because he thinks that God hates you more than you hate Fred Phelps.


Thursday, May 30 2013

The Groove Is Everything

Digital music makes sense to me. But dragging a needle through the grooves of a slab of vinyl and Led Zeppelin IV coming out? Now that's witchcraft befitting the Devil's music.


Wednesday, May 29 2013

The Great Gatsby Re-Incarnated a la Don Draper and Barack Obama

It’s human nature to Gatsby-ize others, whether it’s for the pleasures of unsatisfied curiosity, or slander, or just plain sport.


Monday, May 20 2013

The Shock of the Old:  Art Historian Alexander Nagel on His New Book, ‘Medieval Modern’

New York University art historian Alexander Nagel talks with PopMatters about how art of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance is tied to modern and contemporary art in more ways than we might think.


Sunday, May 12 2013

How Do Film Adaptations of Books, Such As ‘The Great Gatsby’, Affect an Author’s Literary Status?

Many people assert axiomatically that "the book is always better", while others have suggested that bad books make good movies and good books make bad movies. But do films adapted from books, good or bad, give books a longer shelf-life?


Wednesday, May 8 2013

When Everything Changed: Memory, Nostalgia and the Tragic Turning Point

Popular culture creates its own nostalgic image of a time period that is both fact and fiction. When combined with the shaky foundations of our own memories, who can really tell what happened? How will pop culture translate the tragic events of today?


Monday, April 29 2013

The Civil War’s ‘Young Napoleon’: An Interview with Richard Slotkin

Renowned cultural critic and historian Richard Slotkin discusses his new book, The Long Road to Antietam, and shares his thoughts on the future of American Studies. He indulges us with his favorite movies, too.


Sunday, April 28 2013

Join the Underground: Loren Glass’ History of the Famous / Infamous Grove Press

Grove was the hippest and most important publisher of books that broke sexual taboos, plotted revolution, and kept millions of young intellectuals across the US in touch with the avant-garde and revolutionary politics throughout the world.


Monday, April 22 2013

On Killing Two Crucial Birds With One Pen

Norman Ball’s How Can We Make Your Power More Comfortable? and The Frantic Force are stalked, ever so subtly, by the fraught subtext of a father and daughter’s haltingly convergent kinship. Surely this is a writer Dad and I could break conciliatory bread over.


Sunday, April 14 2013

Author Hugh Howey on What’s Good About E-Books, Open Source Movements, and Fan Fiction

The success of Hugh Howey’s self-published Wool series points to a complete upending of publishing paradigms. Much like Amanda Palmer in music, Howey has created a whole new model of how authors relate to readers.


Wednesday, April 10 2013

‘Black Against Empire’ Assumes a Central and Critical Spot Within the Black Panther Canon

This meticulous work of research and analysis attempts something beyond the scope of power-to-the-people flashbacks of Afros, dashikis and raised fists: it takes the Black Panther Party seriously as a political entity taking dead aim on American laws and values.


Sunday, March 31 2013

Kafka on Kickstarter: Crowdsourcing, Capitalism and Art

From the Kickstarter-fuelled resurrection of Veronica Mars to Amanda Palmer's 'art of asking', the influence of crowdsourcing is impossible to ignore. Can it provide a new perspective on the relationship between art and money?


//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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