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Alvarez's 'In The Time of the Butterflies' Returns with Undiminished Intensity

The lure of beautiful beaches might make the Dominican Republic among the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean, but the ghosts of its troubled history, as captured in Julia Alvarez's In the Time of the Butterflies, stalk the living.

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​​'Good Enough' ​​​Is Great on Darwin

In Good Enough: The Tolerance for Mediocrity in Nature and Society, philosopher Daniel S. Milo argues that science and society have overemphasized Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection

Books

Seth's 'Clyde Fans' and the Revolving Slowdown of a Declining Business

Seth's inspiration for the epic story, Clyde Fans, grew from an empty storefront and photographs of two middle-aged men; thus it is imbued with palpable sadness and regret.

Books

Will Hope Rise from the Dead in Joyce Carol Oates' 'My Life As a Rat?

If happiness usually proves duplicitous, and melancholy a dependable constant, then the journey of an epic Joyce Carol Oates novel is always going to be a trip worth experiencing, as with My Life As a Rat.

Books

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.

Books

Is Progressive-Populism Our Best Option in These Troubled Times?

When order ruptures it leads to a state of crisis manifest in many ways, as we see emerging throughout the world. What can we do?

Books

Will a New Form of Socialism Rise? On Bhaskar Sunkara's 'The Socialist Manifesto'

Socialists need to do better in fighting against identity-based discrimination, as editor of Jacobin Bhaskar Sunkara notes in The Socialist Manifesto, but that struggle will only be effective if waged as part of a larger struggle against neoliberal capitalism.

Books

Yannick Haenel's 'Hold Fast Your Crown' Is French Literature at Its Best

Yannick Haenel's Hold Fast Your Crown is shocking, frustrating, elating, and among the best books published in France for decades.

Books

Vivien Goldman's 'Revenge of the She-Punks' Doesn't Gloss the Reasons We Still Have to Rage

In her history of women in punk music, Revenge of the She-Punks, Vivien Goldman hefts the scene's virtues and the vices into one heap and concludes that some of it was necessary, some of it was fun, and some of it was evil.

Books

Newly Translated Mishima Work, 'Star', Offers Insight into His Pop Culture Persona

Posthumous work by celebrated Japanese author Yukio Mishima, Star, explores how celebrities struggle with their own lack of authenticity.

Books

Brian Selznick Communicates Wordlessly with Walt Whitman in Abram's 'Live Oak, with Moss'

Language and image never combine in Abrams' Live Oak, with Moss; they are distant lovers, if you will, as divided as Walt Whitman and Brian Selznick are as collaborators.

Books

Ted Chiang's 'Exhalation' Calmly Stares Oblivion in the Face

With his second collection of short stories, Exhalation, master of existential science fiction Ted Chiang explores AI, time travel, and alternate realities with the studious eye of an anthropologist.

Books

We Must Pay Attention to the Powerful Political Force of Conspiracy Theories

Where does one draw the line between conspiracy theories, and politics-as-usual? Anthropologist Erica Lagalisse warns that we ignore conspiracy theory at our peril in Occult Features of Anarchism.

Books

'Article 353' Explores Who Might Mete Out Justice When the Law Fails

Article 353 is Tanguy Viel's politically charged, darkly atmospheric, and cathartic indictment of neoliberal capitalism.

Books

'Heaven and Hell' Offers a Powerful Child's-eye View of Japanese Colonialism

Japanese poet Toriko Takarabe grew up in Japanese-occupied Manchuria and lived to tell the harrowing tale.

Books

'Ancestral Night' Is a Sweeping Space Saga for Intelligent Readers

Mystery and discovery in Hugo Award-winning novelist Elizabeth Bear's latest work, Ancestral Night, initially hooks but it's the speculative and complex world she constructs that's most rewarding.

Books

Summer Brennan's 'High Heel' Combines Memoir and Epic Poetry

The lovely cadences in Summer Brennan's High Heel stack up like so many sand castles that sift iconic examples of high heels into a finely grained pile of pros and cons that each reader will sift through quite differently.

Film

In Two Minds: Robert Altman's 'Images' Essays the Terrors of Schizophrenia

Altman's Images is a complex, haunting and always disturbing film about the slow realization that one's sanity is a stake.

Books

Timuel Black Tells His Remarkable South Side Chicago Story in 'Sacred Ground'

The esteemed oral historian, Timuel Black, turns the microphone around to capture his amazing journey through 20th Century black America in Sacred Ground.

Books

You Can Feel the Venue's Heartbeat on Every Page of 'Showtime at the Apollo'

How do we measure the status of a performer's Holy Grail like the Apollo Theater in 2019? Ted Fox and James Otis Smith's beautifully realized, updated graphic history brings this rich history to life.

Books

Is There Hope for Knowledge? On Robert Pasnau's 'After Certainty'

In After Certainty, Robert Pasnau constructs a history of knowledge and concludes that most theories of knowledge aren't up to par. But, he says, we can hope.

Books

'Go Ahead in the Rain' Artfully Melds the Many Parts of a Tribe Called Quest's Backstory

In Go Ahead in the Rain, Hanif Abdurraqib blends his talents as both culture critic and personal essayist for a meditation on perhaps the most influential hip-hop group from the genre's sample-laden boom-bap era, A Tribe Called Quest.

Books

Paul Crenshaw's 'This One Will Hurt You' Will, Indeed

Paul Crenshaw's This One Will Hurt You, a PopMatters' Pick, is powerful essay collection about life, loss, faith, and natural (and man-made) violence in rural America.

Books

Nora Krug's 'Belonging' Could Serve as a Model for Understanding Collective Responsibility

In graphic novel Belonging, Nora Krug takes a single idea – her family's involvement in the Second World War and Nazi Germany – and pursues it with relentless, forensic determination.

Reviews

Irresistible Dark Visions and Sentimental Longing in 'You Know You Want This'

Short story collection You Know You Want This, a PopMatters' Pick, brings forth a dozen brilliant and beautifully unapologetic dark visions from fearless new writer, Kristen Roupenian.

Film

'Black Narcissus' Is Truly, Madly, Hysterically Wonderful

Powell and Pressburger's Black Narcissus is iconically and almost ethereally beautiful. It's a full-blooded, complex melodrama of the highest order.

Music

Will Stratton: No Wonder

Following his quiet stunner of a debut album, this 22-year-old folk artist just proved that lightning, indeed, can strike the same place twice.

Music

White Denim: Fits

Fits is an electic, sprawling, amps-to-11 rock excursion that revels in nostalgia almost to the point of outright defiance. White Denim have crafted one of the best rock albums of 2009.

Music

The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses: 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition

Imagine if you will: an album re-release that actually gets everything right, making an already-classic album sound even better than before, deepening our understanding as to what made it so iconic.

Film

Moon

In brief, stark moments, Duncan Jones' movie makes plain how awful it is to be so solitary, how utterly impossible it is to consider this existence a "living."

Music

Florence and the Machine: Lungs

Florence and the Machine deliver a stunning debut in the wake of overwhelming expectations.

Reviews

The Beaches of Agnès (Les plages d' Agnès)

In The Beaches of Agnès, the "game" of cinema is endlessly fascinating, as what was and what can be come together on screen.

Music

Sunset Rubdown: Dragonslayer

Spencer Krug dazzles once again.

Music

Serengeti & Polyphonic: Terradactyl

Compared to other hip-hop releases this year so far, Terradactyl is effectively peerless.

Reviews

Iron Maiden: Flight 666

Only Iron Maiden could pull a world tour like this off. The ecstatic reactions from India, to Australia, to Japan, to Central and South America, to Canada are all essentially the same the world over.

Film

Human Rights Watch International Film Festival

The documentaries of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival grapple with profound dilemmas, yet make their cases through deeply personal perspectives.

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