Reviews > Books
Restoring the ‘Women of Abstract Expressionism’

A well-designed, absorbing effort to restore women artists to their proper place in the history of the movement.

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Envisioning a World With No Need of Humans in ‘The Age of Em’

The next great era will dawn sometime in the 22nd century, its outline shaped by a disruptive technology: “brain emulation”.

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Dreaming the Book: The Works of Antonio Tabucchi and Fernando Pessoa

These writings evoke a powerful, hypnagogic imagery, presenting possible scenes from Pessoa’s impossible dreams.

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Juliet Nicolson Breaks the Cycle of Unhappiness in ‘A House Full of Daughters’

Juliet Nicolson has a storied family tree, the family writing talent, and an unhappy legacy: which she reversed.

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‘Global Undergrounds’: The Lost, Forgotten, and Hidden Places Beneath Our Feet

Readers may use their own backgrounds and interests to frame the 80 underground sites surveyed here, but the differing storytelling styles allow a few rich stories to shine through.

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‘Multiple Choice’ Is Like a Mark Rothko or Jackson Pollock Painting

This sparse, abstract literary text gives us ample room to interpret and to question the very notion of interpretation.

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Sex, Lies, and Sleeping Aids: ‘Scary Old Sex’

On the whole, Heyman definitely has a sharp, witty take on heterosexual relations and is attuned to the comedy inherent in the act itself.

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On the Art of Pairing Cover Art With Literature: Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover

The kind of detail and broader thinking that goes into creating a singular design aesthetic for a Penguin series is often imaginative, clever, and beautiful.

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The Valley Unpleasant in ‘Mount Pleasant’

Ruined by blind ambition, Mount Pleasant stands as a cautionary tale to any writer possessed of more aspiration than art.

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‘Seinfeldia’: Yada yada yada ...

Seinfeld may have been “a show about nothing”, but Seinfeldia has plenty of fascinating things to say about it.

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Stephen Fry Would Love Christian Thielemann’s ‘My Life with Wagner’

Part memoir, part biography, and mostly lumbering essay, this is Thielemann imparting a Wagner fan's point of view from the conductor's podium.

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Chuck Eddy’s ‘Terminated for Reasons of Taste’ Reads Like an Eclectic Spotify Mix on Shuffle

Reading Eddy's latest is like listening to a good record store clerk: no judgment, no arrogance, just a pure love of music and some honest opinion.

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If You’re Suspicious of the Pitch, Read ‘Mad Men, Death, and the American Dream’

If Mad Men’s slickness allow us to enjoy the existential emptiness at the heart of American identity without implicating us, Bronfen’s volume works to close that distance.

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In ‘The Last Days of New Paris’, Art Kills Nazis

In Miéville’s imagining, art isn't something to hang in a museum. It is politics. It is freedom. Like Woody Guthrie’s guitar of old, this art kills fascists.

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How Does the Mind of the Political Reactionary Work?

Mark Lilla notes in The Shipwrecked Mind, “Apocalyptic historiography never goes out of style.”

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Garry Trudeau Knows Words—He Has the Best Words

Television merely gives us “Trump l'oeil”: Doonsbury's 30-year coverage of Trump gives us (gasp!) the "real deal".

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‘The Accidental Life’ Is Both a Time Capsule and a Guide

Like a good editor, Terry McDonell may be invisible, but the insights into writing and editing make up for the author's elusiveness, here.

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Rethinking the Closure of the Asylums in the Age of Community Care

Barbara Taylor's "bin memoir", as she terms it, tells a story of neglect, dysfunction, and failed expectations. She recovered; the mental health care system didn't.

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Marguerite Duras: A Sublime Passion

An intimate interview with France’s acclaimed woman of letters reveals the power of silence.

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‘Frankenstein’: An Indictment of Divine Indifference

By examining the perils of creation, Frankenstein is a parable of the inscrutable nature of man's relationship with God.

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Exposition Dumps Don't Need Dialogue in 'Virginia'

// Moving Pixels

"Virginia manages to have an exposition dump without wordy exposition.

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