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Landing Instructions for Derrida

In his book, An Event, Perhaps, Derrida's intellectual development is adroitly unpacked by Peter Salmon without bamboozling the reader or peddling dime-store psychologizing.

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'Clutter' Gets in Your Head

In Jennifer Howard's social history, Clutter, the emotional relationship to the material world is critical in trying to understand her mother's hoarding behaviors.


Martin Amis' 'Inside Story' Is a Grimoire

Where things don't quite add up in autobiography Inside Story, Martin Amis fashions the untidy sum into a sort of punchline; where there aren't any punchlines, he makes the mess into a cosmic joke.


The Best Books of 2020: Fiction

We didn't turn to fiction for those much needed periods of escapism in 2020. Nor did we turn to fiction for answers, because of course, the best fiction doesn't provide "answers". We turned to these works of fiction for the questions they raise.


The Best Books of 2020: Non-Fiction

In the stormy year of 2020 PopMatters' staff have clung to anything seemingly solid with one hand while holding a good book in the other. Through it all, we are curious, engaged, and eager to share what we've read with you.


Warren Read's 'One Simple Thing' Is Hardly So Simple

Tension is inescapable in Warren Read's story about a need to escape, One Simple Thing.


Author Gabriel Bump Advises Young Writers to 'Embrace the Sluggishness'

Gabriel Bump's protagonist in Everywhere You Don't Belong is an everyman who often mounts his narrative plateau with the discriminating eye of a filmmaker. This interview with Bump has us wondering, should he write a screenplay?


In Author Dennis E. Staples' Town, Sleeping Dogs Don't Lie

In Dennis E. Staples' remarkable debut, This Town Sleeps, flawed mothers and sons must pacify vengeful ghosts and family curses. As if loving each other wasn't hard enough.


Neil Gaiman's Faustian Bargain with William Shakespeare

What kind of relationship do Gaiman and Shakespeare have? Is one a parasite on the other?


Memoir 'Kiss Myself Goodbye' Dims the Brightest Subject

Ferdinand Mount's gripping family memoir, Kiss Myself Goodbye, paints a calamitous picture of one of its supporting characters, Georgie. But I knew her closely for over 40 years. She not only transcended tragedy but helped me do the same.


Balanced on the Thin Edge of Democracy, Can We See the Tipping Point?

The Trump-bolstered radical right are akin to fourth-century Christian fanatics who -- in the space of a single generation -- transformed the Roman empire from a state of broadly tolerant religious plurality to one of violence and societal destruction.

By the Book

Right/Wrong: How Technology Transforms Our Ethics (excerpt)

So you think you know the difference between right and wrong? Sure about that? Juan Enriquez's Right/Wrong, excerpted here courtesy of MIT Press, might shake you loose from your convictions.

​​Juan Enriquez
By the Book

Cyber Republic: Reinventing Democracy in the Age of Intelligent Machines (excerpt)

Are you ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Can you imagine, for example, a hospital completely made of software? These and other forthcoming changes to the workplace and the global economy are explored in this excerpt of George Zarkadakis' Cyber Republic, courtesy of MIT Press.

George Zarkadakis

Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera Sings 'Every Day We Get More Illegal'

Every Day We Get More Illegal, seems to foretell a diatribe vibe, but threaded throughout Herrera's verse is the musicality--the calming, invigorating melodies that remind us, ever so sweetly, if insistently: Latino lives are beloved.


Art Historian Dora Apel Queries What We Choose to Remember

In Calling Memory into Place, art historian and cultural critic Dora Apel explores the relationship between collective and personal memory and place in a series of reflective essays that are by turns erudite and personal.


Are Marjane Satrapi's Works Comics or Graphic Novels?

Marjane Satrapi is a complicated woman living and working at the intersection of many overlapping identity factors, and her books Persepolis and Embroideries provide us different facets through which to view this complex of relations.


24-Carat Black's 'Ghetto' Is the Most Sampled Album Never Heard

33 1/3 book 24-Carat Black's Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth, is a refreshing outlier in the series in that it's about an influential yet barely known album.


'Step It Up and Go' Gives North Carolina Music Its Dues

David Menconi's Step It Up is an absorbing love letter to the artists, scenes, and sounds of North Carolina's contributions to American popular music.


Sci-fi/Fantasy Writer Elizabeth Bear on Diversity, Mental Health, and Queers in Space

Elizabeth Bear's idealistic, positive future would be a Tea Party Republican's worst nightmare. Her latest book, Machine, explores the possibility fearlessly.

By the Book

¡Printing the Revolution!: The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now (excerpt)

From satire and portraiture to politicized pop, ¡Printing the Revolution! examines how artists created visually captivating graphics that catalyzed audiences. Enjoy this visually gorgeous excerpt courtesy of The Smithsonian American Art Museum and Princeton University Press.

Stephanie Stebich

Shirley Jackson's Story on Film Is But a Flickering Shadow

In Josephine Decker's biographical film, Shirley, Shirley Jackson is only partially seen as the darkness conveyed obscures the light.

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