Recent Features
20 Questions: Steve Almond

Steve Almond, who’s latest book, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life (13 April) talks with PopMatters 20 Questions about high ideals for literature – and how sexy William Shatner is.

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Backyard Fiction a.k.a. the Great American Myth of Suburbia

Suburban discontent in Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road, John Updike's Couples and Richard Ford's Independence Day. The idea or myth of suburbia is just as real as the actual shopping centers, schools, etc.

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20 Questions: Mark Kurlansky

Mark Kurlansky is a Renaissance man whose work should be read, learned from, and admired. His latest, Eastern Stars publishes this week. He tells PopMatters 20 Questions why he’ll take rebels over saints any day.

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Hellraisers: They Lived This Way Because Nobody Else Could

These guys were geniuses at life: living fully on their own terms, and after all the broken glass, bludgeoned livers, and wrecked relationships, the sum shined brighter than the scattered bits and pieces.

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Segregating Sound: Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow

When composer W.C. Handy published the first major collection of blues songs in 1926, reimagining pop tunes as folk songs, he explicitly framed the blues as folk music.

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“A Fanatical Fan with Fanatical Opinions”: An Interview with Jim DeRogatis

Noted pop music critic Jim DeRogatis discusses much with PopMatters, including getting into fights with Wayne Coyne, why Lou Reed is frustrating to talk to, and why Lollapalooza is Wal-Mart ...

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My Times in Black and White

Gerald Boyd's memoir illustrates that sometimes, those who preach the loudest about diversity and tolerance are in fact the least capable, when it comes down to it, of tolerating any diversity at all.

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20 Questions: Anne Lamott

Everyone in Anne Lamott's books is sort of screwed up, but she stocks them with an irresistible humor and core decency. Her latest, Imperfect Birds, releases 6 April.

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Harry Smith: The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular

This book comes very close to being a faithful mirror of the endlessly fascinating Harry Smith and, like its subject, will provoke, educate, and entertain in equal measure.

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Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker-in-Training

There’s a time, from when someone dies to when they magically pop up at the funeral or the cemetery or as a bag of ashes, that remains a black hole, invisible to the rest of the world, and everyone’s happy with the arrangement.

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A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli

It was Judy Garland’s affinity for the absurd that triggered Vincent Minelli’s idea for a film version of The Pirate, a rakish story that would employ Garland, Gene Kelly, and a very strange song composed by Cole Porter.

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Richard Pryor’s Designated Writer: An Interview With Paul Mooney

In a new memoir, veteran stand-up comic Paul Mooney reflects on his life and work with the legendary comedian Richard Pryor and their struggle against racism in Hollywood.

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You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried, by Susannah Gora

This book is part cultural analysis of ‘80s youth films, part trivia, and whole bunch walk down memory lane.

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20 Questions: Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley, author of more than 29 critically acclaimed books, presents his latest in the Leonid McGill series, Known to Evil (releasing 23 March).

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Six Years in the Life of Post-Blackness (Or Not)

If the 'black' in 'post-black' means “the last 40 years or so”, black folks are clearly moving beyond that; but to the extent that 'black' means “having to deal with the same-old same-old when it comes to racial attitudes,” then we ain’t post-nuthin’.

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Anything Goes: A Biography of the Roaring Twenties

The glitter of 1920s America is seductive: jazz, flappers, wild parties, the cult of celebrity, and a glamorous gangster-led crime scene flourishing under Prohibition…

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20 Questions: Lisa Lutz

Bestselling author Lisa Lutz identifies the essentials in life, coffee and vodka, like this: “One makes the morning tolerable. And coffee lights up the evening.” Enjoy either beverage while reading The Spellman’s Strike Again, releasing this week.

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Last Words by George Carlin with Tony Hendra

Part raucous credo, part comic pilgrim’s progress, this is George Carlin’s celebration of his own human condition and how he became not just a comedian, but a conscience.

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Memory, the Whole Lying Opera of It: Remembering Barry Hannah

It's tragic to know that the brilliant tumbling sound of his work has reached its coda. But if you can learn anything from Hannah's work, it's that to focus on the hurt is to miss what's important: finding that glimmer of cutting light in all that dark.

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Tupac Shakur: An Icon in Context

How do you tell the story of Tupac Shakur? One book tries connecting his life, and sometimes his music, to the social and historical climate of the times.

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More Recent Features
//Blogs

The Best and Worst Films of Spring 2015

// Short Ends and Leader

"January through April is a time typically made up of award season leftovers, pre-summer spectacle, and more than a few throwaways. Here are PopMatters' choices for the best and worst of the last four months.

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