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'Out of Our Minds' Considers Freedom and Force, Coercion and Custom

In Out of Our Minds, Fernández-Armesto encourages readers to distrust visionaries who promise perfection.


Progress Is Not Linear, as 'The House of the Pain of Others' Reminds Us with Devastating Effect

Julián Herbert's The House of the Pain of Others is a masterly study that sheds light on the role played by educated elites in fomenting genocide.


Saving Acid Communism: 800 Pages of the Essential Leftist Critic Mark Fisher

Mark Fisher's posthumous collection of essays, k-punk, edited by Darren Ambrose, is an important reminder of the power and versatility of Leftist thinking in horrible times.


'The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories' Is a Perfect Balance of Classic and Modern

The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories is not merely another college lit anthology, but a fascinating collection of short stories from all periods and from several authors who all too rarely make it into English translation.


On Mankind's Hubris and Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring'

When promises of draining proverbial swamps have only blurred the distinction between legislation and capitalism, it is now the responsibility of individuals to advocate for Rachel Carson's environmental vision.


'The Widower's Notebook' Compassionately Explores How Men Are Allowed to Grieve

Enduring loss and grief is never easy but it's rendered remarkably in Santlofer's work.


Nagata Kabi's 'My Solo Exchange Diary' and the Alienated Self

The author of My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness is pushing manga to new and intellectually provocative heights.


There's Much More to Cecil Beaton's Photography Than Just Another Pretty Face

Filmmaker and writer Lisa Immordino Vreeland's Love, Cecil captures the stylized glamor Cecil Beaton's work and provides a deeper picture of this remarkable 20th century artist.


'Red Winter' Weathers the Heartbreaks of Communism

Swedish graphic novelist Anneli Furmar paints a bright window into a gray corner of political history.


"We are all Rachel Dolezal": on Asad Haider's 'Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump'

Among other critiques of identity politics, Haider believes that we each can slip between identities at will. Indeed, it's a universal human condition.


Partners in Dissonance: Michael Gordon and the Kronos Quartet Team Up for 'Clouded Yellow'

On-and-off collaborators since 2001, the Kronos Quartet and Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon present an arresting collection of their shared works.


'Bring the War Home' Digs into the Trenches of the White Power Movement in America

Historian Kathleen Belew painstakingly details the influence of the Vietnam wartime experience on the evolution of white power ideology.


Convenience Store Virtues (or, the Alienation of Modern Life)

Sayaka Murata's award-winning debut, Convenience Store Woman, finds that when social life becomes too much, even a convenience store can be a welcome refuge.


Prince Shall Forever Remain the Enigma: 'This Thing Called Life'

Instead of cherry-picking facts and quotes, Joseph Vogel lets Prince's legacy shine in all its vague and erratic splendor.


Dark Desperation and Humor in 'The Price of the Haircut'

Parts Donald Barthelme, Richard Powers, and George Saunders, Brock Clarke has distinguished himself as a writer fully in control of his ideas.


The Criterion Edition of 'Cat People' Leaves an Indelible Impression

The horror master Val Lewton is immortalized in this excellent reissue of his first (and possibly best) film, Cat People.


Philosophy Has Never Been This Sensual: 'Certified Copy'

Certified Copy invites us to both surrender to its aesthetic, decadent pleasures and also to meditate on the philosophical theories it exposes.


Glimmers of Hope for Bombay in Suketu Mehta's 'Maximum City'

Suketa Mehta paints a rich and intimate portrait of Bombay in Maximum City, one informed by a journalist's eye and a homecoming heart.

C.W. Thompson

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