Recent Features
20 Questions: Gene Weingarten

Gene Weingarten, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, nationally syndicated humor columnist and writer for The Washington Post, and now one-half cartoonist, has a new book out. More importantly, he answers PopMatters 20 Questions.

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15 Jul 2010 // 9:00 PM

Pearl Buck in China: Journey to the Good Earth

As a small child lying awake in bed at night, Pearl grew up listening to the cries of women on the street outside calling back the spirits of their dead or dying babies. In some ways she herself was more Chinese than American.

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‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’: A Child of Israel and the Children of Palestine

Reading narratives of the seemingly intractable Arab-Israeli conflict is like trying to follow the plot of a novel that has had every other page ripped out. Amos Oz’s A Tale of Love and Darkness has fewer missing pages than most.

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13 Jul 2010 // 9:00 PM

Fooled by Skepticism

Skepticism has been fueling pop culture for decades. Just ask John Lennon or Pete Townshend. Lately it’s just been fooling pop culture about science.

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The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War

The Americans might be the strongest military power, but they would be powerless if western Europe fell naturally into Communist hands, and in any case there would be an economic crisis in America should Europe collapse.

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20 Questions: A. J. Jacobs

He coos, he digerdoos, he pole dances, he plays harmonica – without a harmonica -- and he’s funny, too. In his latest book of bold experimentation, My Life as an Experiment, A. J. Jacobs, Editor-at-Large for Esquire, lives as a woman, becomes a human guinea pig, and otherwise provides an edutaining look at things we humans tend to hold dear – and then he turns it all askew.

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How Does One Beat the Heat? Try Descending Into Icy Madness

To cope with the heat wave, advisories suggest visiting 'cooling centers' or public pools. To achieve a truly chilled-out state of mind, however, why not open the door to your mind and let the iceman cometh inside?

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Every Man in This Village Is a Liar: An Education in War

Legend was he was ruthless in war, killing enemies with his bare hands. He said he knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding. And now he was petting me like a puppy.

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Confessions of a Political Romantic: Christopher Hitchens’ ‘Hitch-22’

Hitchens often remarks here on his being a late bloomer, and so it is that some will see the core of Hitch-22 as the story of the author’s inner journey in adulthood from firebrand '60s campus radical to geezery Tory of the Anglo-American variety.

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20 Questions: Sloane Crosley

Satirist Sloane Crosley’s How Did You Get This Number regales with hilarious tales involving amateur clowns, a kleptomaniac roommate and a black bear. PopMatters 20 Questions found her at a seemingly safe and quiet spot, for the moment, someplace with contemplation-inducing bathroom tiles…

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The Screwball World of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney: A ‘Suspicious’ Literary Biography

Marion Meade's new book begs the question: Are literary biographies necessary? Somewhere in the afterlife, Nathanael West is having a good chuckle.

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Raisin’ Cain: The Wild and Raucous Story of Johnny Winter

“There was always a line outside the Scene and lots of celebrities,” says Johnny. “Jimi Hendrix and all of the English bands who came to New York—once they left their gigs, they came to jam…"

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Funny Enough: An Interview with Tony Martin

Memoirist and comedian Tony Martin talks about commercial radio dumbasses and explains just what it is that makes Running with Scissors so darned unbelievable.

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Viewing the World at the Level of the Snail’s Lowly Trail

"... I have crawled most of the way through life. I have crawled downward into holes without a bottom, and upward, wedged into crevices where the wind and the birds scream at you until the sound of a falling pebble is enough to make the sick heart lurch."

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Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the Twentieth Century

The future was revealed by a ‘radiant’ woman ‘in flowing, graceful robes’, who explained that in a hundred years’ time, no one would be tramping the streets without a home, or be unemployed. By then the world’s labour would be shared equally, so that each individual only worked five hours a day.

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Infinite Gesturing?: James Wood Takes on David Foster Wallace

“Reading Wallace,” says literary critic James Wood, “is like playing a reed instrument. When do you take a breath?”

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Race in America, Race in Music: Different Trains,  Same Two Tracks

It's an American pop music creation myth: that blues and folk music developed along two distinct tracks, with their own distinct traditions, divided along racial lines. The truth is, of course, far more slippery and complicated.

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23 May 2010 // 9:08 PM

The Invisible Bridge

Men and women in evening dress descended, but Andras saw only architecture: the egg-and-dart molding along the stairway, the cross-barrel vault above, the pink Corinthian columns that supported the gallery.

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20 Questions: Sarah Silverman

The satirical, taboo-busting, notoriously potty-mouthed Sarah Silverman has written a book about … well, pee – among other things. “Big S” talks with PopMatters 20 Questions about her affinity for Bugs Bunny, an affection for Mr. Rogers, and how, with the help of a time machine, she might have helped steer Hitler from his destructive course.

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We Are Fueled by the Fat of Their Land

The "monstrous steel molochs" of industrialized civilization are fueled by petroleum and not literally by the "fat of the natives", though for the Achuar people, the subject of this classic narrative, that might be a distinction without a difference.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

'Staircase' Is Gay in a Melancholy Way

// Short Ends and Leader

"Unfairly cast aside as tasteless during its time for its depiction of homosexuality, Staircase is a serious film in need of a second critical appraisal.

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