Tony Kushner's Angels in America foreshadows our current state of sick politics and bodies and, in particular, the presence of Trump in a time of plague.
The comics format of Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks' Astronauts is ideally suited for telling the story of how women fought and overcame sexism in the US Space Program, given the US government and military's ridiculous resistance to female astronauts.
Cookbooks are rarely read as political or even narrative texts. However, alongside the recipes and lists of ingredients is often rich information about the ideologies and social structures that the foods are consumed within.
"Try this at home": With her latest work, Our Time Is Now, Plotter-in-Chief Stacey Abrams offers a timely playbook for how to ensure free and fair elections in America.
Woven into Utopia Avenue David Mitchell stitches a subtle critique of the impacts of the pot-heavy, lysergic-immersed, and heady music's ambitions on pop culture, moral choices, and even tripping itself.
E. James West's new book explores Lerone Bennett, Jr.'s impact as a popular Black historian. It's a gateway to a body of work that still speaks to Black rage, struggle and hope, yesterday and today.
Christian Brose's defense-nerd position paper, The Kill Chain, inadvertently reveals that the Pentagon's problems (complacency, inertia, arrogance) reflect those of the country at large.
How do we write about repression and toxic masculinity without valorizing it? Philippe Besson's Lie With Me is equal parts poignant tribute and glaring warning.
The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.
Emma Donoghue's Room and E.L. Doctorow's Homer & Langley define and confront life within limited space.
Claude McKay's Romance in Marseille -- only recently published -- pushes boundaries on sexuality, disability, identity -- all in gorgeous poetic prose.
Initially, the city of Oran does not take care of its most vulnerable populations in Camus' The Plague, and as a result, the city suffers for it. This parallels today's COVID-19 world.
Dyson's seminal Writing Superheroes, and how children process violence and power, is considered in a new light as children consume media in this time of social isolation.
The worn trope—Time Devours All Things (tempus edax rerum)—is true for human beings, says Shakespeare: if you're a mortal, death lurks at the heart of the very thing you most want. During a plague, or a pandemic, it's wanting that endangers us.
Even though these times of self-isolating feel absurd, the Theater of the Absurd has a lot to teach us about waiting, time, isolation, and feeling like we exist.
When we can't turn to the federal government for the truth, sometimes we need to turn to fiction. Sam J. Miller's Blackfish City maps a pandemic in a post-United States future.
While Lake City masquerades as a social climber satire that is really something else, author Thomas Kohnstamm is an open book about his intentions in his work and his hopes for his city.
Rather than write about death and the world unfolding in the throes of the Black Plague, Giovanni Boccaccio instead wrote about the utopian potential of storytelling.
Five short stories—by Anton Chekhov, Katherine Mansfield, Bharati Mukherjee, Anthony Doerr, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie—explore various isolation, solitude, and loneliness pathologies from the perspectives of different lives and cultures.
Ravi Shankar was bemused by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds and other bands using the sitar in rock music. Enjoy this excerpt from biography Indian Sun, by Oliver Craske (who worked with Shankar on his 1997 autobiography), courtesy of Hachette Books.
The unheralded and underappreciated PR exec. Moss Kendrix is the de facto hero in Brenna Wynn Greer's enlightening history of Black marketers and the evolving depiction of Black people in mass media.
George Cain's 1970 semi-autobiographical novel Blueschild Baby, recently republished by Ecco, is a difficult and unapologetic work about the life of a functioning drug addict. In this interview Imran Khan discusses Cain's work and life with his ex-wife, Jo Lynne, and son, Malik.
In a brave new world dominated by platforms such as Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb, and marked by anxiety in the Age of the Anthropocene, McKenzie Wark's Capital Is Dead eschews digital utopianism for a sense of urgency that recognizes things have gotten serious.
In this gorgeously illustrated collection of airline route maps, Airline Maps: A Century of Art and Design, Mark Ovenden and Maxwell Roberts look to the skies and transport readers to another time. Enjoy this excerpt, courtesy of Penguin Books.
Although enjoyable in that sweeping big picture kind of way, there is nothing subversive to be found in Ted Gioia's Music: A Subversive History.
Award-winning lawyer Ben Crump's Open Season irrefutably documents how America's treatment of Black Americans and other minorities is indistinguishable from genocide.
Harry Harootunian's essays on modern Japanese history, collected in Uneven Moments from Columbia University Press, reflect a lifetime of intellectual contributions and span a wide range of topics in Japanese history. The tension between the historical and the everyday is a recurrent and vital theme in his work.