Ikette Claudia Lennear, rumored to be the inspiration for Mick Jagger's "Brown Sugar", often felt disconnect between her identity as an African American woman and her engagement with rock. Enjoy this excerpt of cultural anthropologist Maureen Mahon's Black Diamond Queens, courtesy of Duke University Press.
Nicholas Buccola's The Fire Is Upon US is, at times, marred by glibness, impatience, and ahistorical tendencies that suggest, to an extent, it is also a reflective of the deteriorating conditions that mark our public discourse in 2020.
Music promoter Dave Morrell's memoir, Run Out Groove, recalls the underbelly of the mainstream music industry.
Whether you remember waiting for dial-up access, tiny screens, and green lines of text or not, you'll get a kick out of Alex Wiltshire's travel back in time to when computers came with wires. Enjoy this excerpt of Home Computers, courtesy of MIT press, with nostalgia photography by John Short.
Fearless in its demand for accountability, transcendent in its honesty, Mieko Kawakami's Breasts and Eggs breathes life into feminist literature and throws down a gauntlet for other writers to aspire toward.
An accompaniment to Beth B's documentary of the same name, Nick Soulsby's book is the first comprehensive overview of Lunch's creative campaign of resistance, a celebration of pleasure as the ultimate act of rebellion. Enjoy this excerpt courtesy of Jawbone Press.
Stephanie Ross' book on aesthetic philosophy, Two Thumbs Up, can be used as a dissertation template. Just expect -- like a critic -- to argue with it, at times.
In addition to its literary significance, Jean Giono's newly translated Occupation Journal is also an important reminder of the value of pacifism in a world where over-eager partisanship is once more merging with the enthusiastic violence of political dogma.
Fifty years ago Attica prisoners rose up for justice -- and were slaughtered. Graphic novel Big Black: Stand at Attica is a powerful story from a survivor's point of view.
Juno Roche's Trans Power discusses trans identity not as a passageway between one of two linear destinations, but as a destination of its own.
What is the meaning of diversity in today's world? Russell Jacoby raises and addresses some pertinent questions in his latest work, On Diversity.
In The American Robot, Dustin A. Abnet explores how robots have not only conceptually connected but literally embodied some of the most critical questions in modern culture, as seen in this excerpt from chapter 5 "Building the Slaves of Tomorrow", courtesy of University of Chicago Press.
The story of one of Frida Kahlo's short affairs, captured in Marc Petitjean's excellent book, The Heart, offers an inspired glimpse into the surreal Parisian art scene of 1939.
Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir's Miss Iceland Is at once a poetic, light-hearted narrative and a sharply edged social critique that is caustic and righteous in its portrayal of the enduring nature of sexism, misogyny and homophobia.
Tian Veasna's superb yet harrowing graphic portrayal of the Khmer Rouge regime, Year of the Rabbit, conveys what damage a living nightmare can do to a country and its people in a mere four years.
Matter of fact in its presentation of difficult material -- sexism, child marriage, emotional and sexual abuse -- what's most striking about Samra Habib's memoir, We Have Always Been Here, is the sense of compassion with which she writes.
The latest two Red Circle Minis, by Takuji Ichikawak and Kanji Hanawa, deal in archetypes; one set in the distant past, the other in the all too near future.
The powerful graphic novel Grass documents the atrocities against WWII "comfort women" through the recollections of a survivor. This is an incredibly powerful and urgent work that, frankly, should be read by the governments of all nations that must face, admit to, and begin real reparations for their country's atrocities.
In The Skin We're In, Canadian journalist Desmond Cole reveals the shocking scale of racism in a country that prefers to look the other way.
Social historian Sam Wasson's The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood, is a graceful and compelling elegy to both Roman Polanski's landmark film, and the end times of old Hollywood.
Mike Edison's biography on the Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts, Sympathy for the Drummer is a full-throated assault on the notion that, in music, more is better, and that perfection is a friggin' virtue.
Escaping abjection's usual confines of psychoanalysis and aesthetic modernism, the contributors to Abjection Incorporated examine a range of media, including literature, photography, film, television, talking dolls, comics, and manga. Enjoy this generous excerpt, courtesy of Duke University Press.
Joni Mitchell's latest book denotes the next step in the Joni evolution, and indicates that perhaps those different languages for her—of visual art, poetry, and music—will finally be held in equal regard.
Exploring the interplay of Irving Berlin's life with the life of New York City, noted biographer James Kaplan offers a visceral narrative of Berlin as self-made man and witty, wily, tough Jewish immigrant. Enjoy this excerpt of Kaplan's book, Irving Berlin: New York Genius.
André Aciman's long-awaited sequel to Call Me By Your Name, Find Me, isn't so much an extension of the previous book's queries about romance and sexuality as it is a work of convenient revisionism.
Folk tales, fantasy, pop culture and family weave gracefully throughout Carmen Maria Machado's harrowing yet graceful memoir of domestic abuse, In the Dream House.
Reading Kerouac, I saw in living flesh all of the Cody Pomerays, Dean Moriartys, Sal Paradises, and Alvah Goldbooks in each and every sailor I bunked with, each and all from every corner of America, revealing all and true as only comrades can do in the cocoon of shared experience.
Paul Theroux is among PopMatters' favorite travel writers. In this excerpt of On the Plain of Snakes, wherein he traverses the Mexico/US border, Theroux takes us to the ancient city of Oaxaca, bringing forth the dignity of its Zapotec and Mixtec people.
Underground palaces in communist spaces provide not only transport but also refuge in the former USSR. Enjoy this excerpt of photographer Christopher Herwig and author Owen Hatherley's Soviet Metro Stations, from FUEL Publishing.
Actor Amber Tamblyn is aspiring to something deeper than just the chronicle of herself as a young ingénue who came of age as a TV star in her memoir, Era of Ignition. In our politically tumultuous times, does she succeed?
Jon Savage's This Searing Light, The Sun and Everything Else, marks a time for considering how Joy Division became, and continues to be, so popular.
In this excerpt of '70s music, Pick up the Pieces, John Corbett puts his critique of Kraftwerk's Autobahn to poetry and pogos with his conflict for the Clash and their album, The Clash.
Jemar Tisby's historical overview of the American church's complicity in racism, The Color of Compromise, will help provoke dialogue, but we face significant challenges, still.