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Music

On Bob Dylan's 'Rough and Rowdy Ways' Everything Old Is New Again, Again

Bob Dylan's first album of original material since 2012, Rough and Rowdy Ways, is a suitably grim, brilliant collection of ten songs for our dark times.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Confinement and Escape: Emma Donoghue and E.L. Doctorow in Our Time of Self-Isolation

Emma Donoghue's Room and E.L. Doctorow's Homer & Langley define and confront life within limited space.

Books

'Yours, Jean' Is a Perfect Mixture of Tragedy, Repressed Desire, and Poor Impulse Control

Lee Martin's Yours, Jean is a perfectly balanced and heartbreaking mix of true crime narrative and literary fiction.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Solitude Stands in the Window: Thoreau's 'Walden'

Henry David Thoreau's Walden as a 19th century model for 21st century COVID-19 quarantine.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Marc Maron's Private Grief on a Public Stage

The risky healing power of Marc Maron's WTF podcast eulogy to Lynn Shelton.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Some of One World's Comfort Songs Are Off-Key

One World: Together at Home and what our choice of anthems says about how we cope with a crisis.

Music

Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul" Is His First New Song Since the Nobel Laureate

Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul" is a 17-minute story song about JFK's assassination and a suitable audio dispatch from and for the end times.

Books

Joan Didion's Crystal-Clear Vision Only Got Better with Age

Reading the Library of America's comprehensive anthology, Joan Didion: The 1960s & 70s, is like walking out of the rain and into a time warp.

Books

Harold Bloom's 'The American Literary Canon'

The authors included in Harold Bloom's The American Literary Canon conform to a singular American aesthetic that, in Bloom's world, makes them superior to the spectrum of the American experience.

Books

On the Socially Conscious Filmmaker, Sidney Lumet

Maura Spiegel's biography provides a thorough and compelling look at the life and films of the progressive New York icon filmmaker, Sidney Lumet.

Books

Do We Already Know the Answer to the Question, 'Are Men Animals?'

Matthew Gutmann's Are Men Animals is and interesting but flawed, rushed look at masculinity that suffers from digressions and an unwillingness to be as political as it could have been.

Books

'Adults and Other Children': The Bitter and the Sweet

The similes in Miriam Cohen's impressive debut short story collection, Adults and Other Children, are perfectly attuned to the essence of her characters.

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.

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.

Books

John Hodgman Is Flying High in Memoir, 'Medallion Status'

TV star/writer/podcast host -- just don't call him a standup comic -- John Hodgman tackles class aspiration and other inconveniences in his memoir, Medallion Status.

Books

Ian McEwan's Brexit Satire, 'The Cockroach', Leaves Little to the Imagination

With his latest, The Cockroach, the otherwise masterful British novelist Ian McEwan proves that too much cleverness can kill satire.

Books

Dave Eggers' 'The Captain and the Glory' Barely Stays Afloat

Dave Eggers' latest is a slim satire about the sinking ship of Donald Trump and the potential sinking of the glorious ship of State.

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.

Books

'Mister Rogers and Philosophy', for the Children Now Grown

Mister Rogers and Philosophy considers reality, fantasy, and our philosophical role in both worlds of the long-running PBS children's program, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Books

What's So Great About Dennis Hopper's 'Easy Rider'?

Steven Bingen's Easy Rider: 50 Years Looking for America makes clear that he thinks Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider is a great film and it's not for the critics to decide.

Film

'Masked and Anonymous' and Today's Dispossessed and Disoriented

Larry Charles' misunderstood dystopic arthouse movie from 2003, Masked and Anonymous, becomes real in Trump's 2019 Impeachment America.

Film

Old Kings Yelling at Clouds: Art vs. Commerce in the Battle for Box-Office Relevance

Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and other members of the old guard might be battling with the MCU about the quality of superhero movies, but the business of how we consume film is changing, like it or not.

Music

Bruce Springsteen's 'The Ghost of Tom Joad' Calls Out to Us

Bruce Springsteen's 1995 album, The Ghost of Tom Joad, inherited and built upon some powerful 20th century American literary, political, and pop culture themes. Can we hear its haunting call in these times?

Books

'In the Dream House' Nothing Will Change -- Until Something Erupts

Folk tales, fantasy, pop culture and family weave gracefully throughout Carmen Maria Machado's harrowing yet graceful memoir of domestic abuse, In the Dream House.

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