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'Thirty Girls': What We Learned Later

Thirty Girls is an artful fictionalized account of the 1996 kidnapping of the St. Mary’s College schoolgirls of Aboke, Uganda.

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Books

Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1964 by Susan Sontag

Sontag's journals suggest that the self is a conditional and transitory creation; elusive and slippery as an artful lover who wants to be a writer.

Books

Blind Man with a Pistol: Ishmael Reed’s Misguided Pow-Wow

Anyone who has witnessed affirmative action policies in play can tell you that bad apples are chosen to fulfill a quota, not unlike a cop who harasses every citizen who bears a vague resemblance to a wanted suspect.

Books

Best Food Writing 2008, ed. Holly Hughes

Molecular gastronomy? Check. Locavores? Check. Post-Katrina restaurant recovery? Cloned meat? Paeans to the wonders of pig? Check, check, check.

Books

The Best of Sexology, ed. Craig Yoe

In1933 Gernsback published a pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-scientific magazine devoted to sex and all its mysteries, vagaries, varieties -- not to mention all its anxieties.

Books

The Letters of Allen Ginsberg

Ginsberg was hyperaware of the frequent charge that Beat poetry was little more than improvised mumbo jumbo baked from jazz records and marijuana smoke.

Books

New Stories from the South 2008: The Year's Best

Flannery O'Conner's hauntingly gothic South meets the modern American search for meaning in yet another superb edition of this series.

Justin Dimos
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Arcade Fire and H.G. Wells: The Lies Machine

What of the world when the champions look and sound like lesser versions of what came seven years before them, except with less humor and a more elevated sense of their own cultural importance?

Colin Snowsell
Music

Arcade Fire and H.G. Wells: The Lies Machine

Pop music may still travel in revolutions, but not along a fixed course maintaining an even degree of distance from its point of origin. Like a moon intolerant of its gravitation pull, each cycle drifts us further and further from the cycle before it.

Colin Snowsell
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Songs, Swoosh-ified

The quintessential element of the digital audio revolution is the creation of the ‘random’ button, that default 'shuffle function', which renders us no longer creators of mix-tapes, but consumers of playlists.

Books

The Portable Atheist

Sectarian strife, an historical constant, and its images of suicide bombings, occupation, and crumbling civil societies are sadly ubiquitous and have fueled the passions of the “New Atheism”. This will not soon abate.

Barry Lenser
Books

Comic Art 9

Stack this book next to Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art and McCloud's Understanding Comics -- or rather, don't stack it at all, but keep it right next to your desk where you can find it at a moment's notice.

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Lead Us Not Into Speculation, Nor Excessive Computation

A prominent philosopher argues that you, me, and everyone you know may be an artificial computer-simulation of a person.

George Reisch and Nick Bostrom
Books

Sleaze Artists by Jeffrey Sconce

It must surely be daunting for any young film scholar with an interest in trash to come face to face with the volume of academic work that’s been done on once-disreputable movies.

Books

The Granta Book of Reportage by Ian Jack

In an era of media overload and addiction to the immediate, he's demarcating a space for the measured, thoughtful, and in-depth narratives that can only be put together by the man (or woman) on the ground.

Chris McCann
Books

The Agnostic Reader

The book would have benefited from more dedicated considerations of the implications of doubt for human understanding and action. Aside from the final section, these concerns were not much in evidence.

Books

Living Blue in the Red States by David Starkey

The best of these essays acknowledge the false dichotomy of red and blue, confront personal biases, and outline the disillusionment of the left at both the right and itself.

Andy Fogle
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Read Rage

Moving others to constructive action, whether by persuasive or expository means, as Gutkind has done with Rage and Reconciliation, is the hallmark of socially-engaged literature.

Reviews

Truth or Dare: A Book of Secrets Shared by Justine Picardie

This is less about confession, and more about who these writers are and how they got that way.

Nikki Tranter
Reviews

Advertising Annual 2002 and New Talent Design Annual 2002 by B. Martin Pedersen, Editor

From an intellectual property standpoint, creativity is seen more and more as a force of constant innovation.

Aaron Beebe
Reviews

Conversations with Richard Ford by Huey Guagliardo, Editor

Ford just may be the least catty writer in history. 'Other people's successes do not diminish you, your failures don't help others.'"

Mark Dionne
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