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Tuesday, March 25 2014

Shigeru Mizuki’s ‘Showa’ Is a Melting Pot of Manga, Photo Realism, Memoir & Narrative History

A Japanese period of heightened tension, military marches, and personal discovery.


Monday, March 24 2014

Mavis Staples and Her Pops Helped Get Us There

I'll Take You There is really the biography of a musical family, centering on not one but two life stories: Mavis Staples’, and that of her biggest influence, dear ol' dad.


‘Empress Dowager Cixi’ Makes an Excellent Case for Historical Re-Evaluation

Jung Chang pays tribute to a complex ruler at the crossroads of change, and dispels the rigid caricature that has been portrayed for so long.


Friday, March 21 2014

Is Humankind the New Planet and Species-Destroying Asteroid?

After fighting so long as a Cassandra of the coming ecological catastrophe, Elizabeth Kolbert's latest, The Sixth Extinction, embraces the long view of disaster.


Thursday, March 20 2014

How Critics Misunderstood and Misused a Powerful Idea

Elizabeth Lunbeck's The Americanization of Narcissism describes how this misunderstood concept has been inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture for decades.


‘Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles’ Tries to Speak Truths—But Which Truths?

Ron Currie Jr.'s smart, funny writing is overshadowed by an ambitious reach that falls short.


Wednesday, March 19 2014

O, Lorrie Moore, How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…

Lorrie Moore resists the current trend of publishing a story collection with a central theme or gimmick. Hers are simply the products of random bolts of inspiration.


A Tale of Two Hauntings: Susan Hill’s ‘The Mist in the Mirror’

A curious manuscript. The specter of a small child. Cold fevers. That's right, it's a ghost story.


Tuesday, March 18 2014

Literary Giant Saadat Hasan Manto Wrote Honestly About Muslims in Bombay

Manto was no Charles Bukowski with a tendency to excoriate the perils of the female flesh, nor Alifa Rifaat, who wrote frankly about female desire and lust; he created his own world where women were not victims.


Monday, March 17 2014

‘The Creative Class’ Rises Again

Richard Florida is one-upping Karl Marx, casting the creative class as the rightful inheritors of the fruits of the Earth.


Friday, March 14 2014

‘The Ambiguity of Virtue’ Is an Important Contribution to the Field of Holocaust Studies

Gertrude Van Tijn was a social worker who became a Jewish leader in Amsterdam and spent her life securing the emigration of Jewish refugees. Unlike Anne Frank, Van Tijn survived.


Thursday, March 13 2014

Isn’t It Always Complicated, When It Comes to Teens?

Hangouts at a drive-in theater, bowling alley, or mall have moved to online spaces as changes in commuting, school districts, and chronic overscheduling of teens means they need a new way to network.


Criminals and Kids in the Sunshine State

Kids These Days is an entertaining exploration of impending fatherhood and criminal madness.


Wednesday, March 12 2014

How the Renowned Liar Fritz Lang Became One of the Most Truthful Filmmakers

It’s impossible not to realize that the author, too, has come to the conclusion that Fritz Lang was a beast not even he could tame.


The Future is Scarily Close to Home in ‘The Office of Mercy’

Who loves Big Brother? You do. The Office of Mercy is only technically about the future. In spirit, it's about the here and now.


Tuesday, March 11 2014

‘The Luminaries’ Is One of the Best Books of 2013

Outside the likes of Zadie Smith, we may never see such a young novelist perform such a great highwire act, and largely succeed, as Eleanor Catton has done here.


David G. Hartwell Doesn’t Disappoint with ‘Year’s Best SF 18’

Each story touches on different issues, ponders different concerns, and asks different questions. Each story has a distinct message and voice.


Monday, March 10 2014

The Big Reveal: ‘I Want to Show You More’

In her debut collection of stories, I Want to Show You More, Jamie Quatro reveals her talent for examining the desire and vulnerability inside us all.


Revisiting ‘At Home in the World’, a Chilling Memoir of Innocence Lost

The closer we think we’re looking at Joyce Maynard, the further she distances herself from us.


Friday, March 7 2014

The Colors Black and Blue are Paradoxical, Contradictory, and Yet True

Observed as ambiguous figures as impossible to pin down as the effect of the colors they discuss, John Harvey's The Story of Black and Carol Mavor Blue Mythologies are impossible to resist.


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