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Books

Phuc Tran's Existential Trip of a Memoir, 'Sigh, Gone'

Phuc Tran's smart, tough memoir, Sigh, Gone, might launch a broken down kid to read 150 great books—for free, at the local library.

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Film

A Fix of Fantasy: Reviving the Wondrous Films of Karel Zeman

The imaginative filmmaker Karel Zeman influenced many artists including Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton, fellow Czech Jan Švankmajer, the Brothers Quay, and animator Lawrence Jordan's recycling of classic 19th Century imagery.

Books

'Miss Iceland' Is a Brilliant Novel of Sexism, Homophobia, and the Writing Life

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.

Books

'Serenade for Nadia' Is a Beautifully Wrought Tale of Political Crimes Past and Present

Serenade for Nadia's complex plot allows Turkish author Zülfü Livaneli to sermonize on topics as varied as anti-Semitism, secularism and modernity, the role of faith in the modern world, diversity and multiculturalism, media and journalism, and more.

Books

Television and Women's History through the Lens of Soap Operas

Media critic Elana Levine's Her Stories explores television history and the conflicts of generation, gender, and race in the heyday of "women's" soap operas.

Books

'Year of the Rabbit': How Quickly Cruelty and Genocide Can Become the Norm

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.

Books

Why Everyone Should Read Samra Habib's Queer Muslim Memoir

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.

Books

Are You, Too, a Walking Manifesto?

We are living in a season of manifestos and Breanne Fahs is our queen. Our guidebook: Burn It Down!: Feminist Manifestos for the Revolution.

Books

Black. Queer. Southern. Women.

Conveyed with urgency and mindfulness, Johnson's Black. Queer. Southern. Women. creates a space for revisioning critical race and sexual ideologies while affirming the voices of queer black women.

Film

For Valentine's Day, the End of Anti-Miscegenation Laws: 'The Loving Story'

The Loving Story's tale of this Supreme Court victory lays out both its legal and moral import, and then turns back to Richard and Mildred Loving in intimate, evocative images.

Books

The New Empire Has Risen: 'New Kings of the World'

Author Fatima Bhutto profiles the new arbiters of mass culture: Bollywood, Dizi, and K-pop, in her engaging cultural studies/travelogue, New Kings of the World.

Books

Journalist Desmond Cole Confronts Canada's Anti-Black Racism

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.

Books

The Incendiary Life and Times of James Baldwin

Bill V. Mullen's James Baldwin: Living in Fire is an important addition to the ongoing assessment and examination of a writer whose legacy remains vital to this day.

Film

'Fail Safe' and the (De)Evolution of Cold War Ethics

Directed by the master of claustrophobic tension Sidney Lumet, Fail Safe (1964) is one of the most gripping Atomic Era thrillers ever made and its message resonates to this day.

Books

Figuring It Out with "Reverse Dracula", Wayne Koestenbaum

Figuring out some arguments by exegesis: a witty conversation with author, artist, and academic, Wayne Koestenbaum.

Books

Short Story Author Larry Brown's Big Love for His Small Characters

Although his works evoke Charles Bukowski, Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers, and William Faulkner, Larry Brown's unapologetic characters were always his own.

Music

How the Staple Singers Became the Soul of Protest Music

The Staple Singers' Stax recording, Come Go with Me, captures their transformation from the church-wrecking gospel highway to the soul-filling pop charts.

Books

Stephen Tow's 'London, Reign Over Me' Is a Must-Read Tour of '60s British Rock

Historian Stephen Tow's London, Reign Over Me is an insightful, thorough, and welcoming exploration of '60s-era British rock.

Jordan Blum
Film

The Kids Are Not All Right: Jean-Gabriel Périot's 'A German Youth'

Jean-Gabriel Périot's documentary on the rise and fall of Germany's radical Red Army Faction (RAF), A German Youth, warns how each generation's sins can evoke violent trauma amongst its progeny.

Books

'Switched on Pop' Schools the Academy

The first book from Switched on Pop hosts Charlie Harding and Nate Sloan leans into the podcast's academic tendencies, as it makes the case for music fans to take all music a bit more seriously.

Books

Sam Wasson's 'The Big Goodbye' Puts Roman Polanski's 'Chinatown' in Its Place

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.

Film

Domesticity Marks a Deeply Fraught Terrain in Ida Lupino Films

The early Ida Lupino films hold a particular nuance for female characters and the textures of their everyday lives, which has rarely been exhibited in classical Hollywood filmmaking.

Books

All Academics Must Become Fans of 'Fandom as Methodology'

It would be a snap to design a super engaging graduate-level course in a variety of Humanities disciplines around Fandom as Methodology.

Books

Reader Beware: Eve Babitz Is Still Utterly Charming

Eve Babitz is more than a child of the 1960s. She is also '50s glamour and '70s glam. In I Used to Be Charming, she reflects on those decades with her sharp eye on cultural trends and transformations.

Film

In 'Uncut Gems' Adam Sandler's Howard Ratner Is on the Brink of Everything, or Nothing

The Safdie Brothers' nervy ball of tension, #PMPick Uncut Gems, sends a hustler blasting recklessly through a city where everybody is on the make.

Film

The Power of Looking Compels 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'

Set in 18th century France, Céline Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire applies ravishing historical details to the timeless poetry of forbidden love.

Books

The Book Every American Needs to Read: 'Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People'

Award-winning lawyer Ben Crump's Open Season irrefutably documents how America's treatment of Black Americans and other minorities is indistinguishable from genocide.

Books

Walking the Tightrope Between History and Memory in Japan: On Harootunian's 'Uneven Moments'

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.

Books

A Boy, a Dog, a Gang of Peanuts, and the Meaning of Life

For all the Charlie Browns in the world, Library of America has published The Peanuts Papers: Writers and Cartoonists on Charlie Brown, Snoopy & the Gang, and the Meaning of Life.

Books

gg's Graphic Fiction, 'Constantly', Knows Where the Monsters Go

Where gg's I'm Not Here found its force in ambiguity and the maybe-fantastical, Constantly is comparatively straightforward in its portrayal of the protagonist's sometimes literal battle with her own psyche.

Books

Chavisa Woods: 100 Times (A Memoir of Sexism)

Chavis Woods' 100 Times (A Memoir of Sexism) is the ideal tool for inciting the collective rage needed to subvert gender-based harassment and violence.

Books

Tlatelolco '68: The Democratic Struggle That Refuses to Die

The Mexican student struggle of 1968 reaches forward to democratic struggles today. Captured by Paco Ignacio Taibo II in two works, 1982's Calling All Heroes and this year's '68: The Mexican Autumn of the Tlatelolco Massacre, it's a powerful reminder of the resilience of democracy.

Books

Sady Doyle Is a Witch. So What Are You Afraid Of?

You'll want to share Sady Doyle's Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers, a #PMPick, with the rest of your coven and all the little girls in your orbit.

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This Is Why the Right Is Winning the Internet

Could it be that the internet and social media is innately in sync with conservative, right-wing ideology? On Jen Schradie's The Revolution That Wasn't.

Books

On Steve Almond's ​Feeling-Fueled Rant on John Williams' 'Stoner'

Sink into the metatextual delights of a touchstone ranting about his own touchstone with Steve Almond's Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life.

Books

'Morning Glory on the Vine' and Joni Mitchell's Amalgam of Craft

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.

Film

Revelations of Stillness in Yasujirô Ozu's 'Tokyo Twilight'

The Film Forum in New York City is showing Yasujirô Ozu's Tokyo Twilight for a limited time from Friday, 8 November to Thursday, 14 November. This is a film that one needs to savor and contemplate, a film that captures the tribulations of this world and the evanescent truth that lies beneath them.

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