Books

Three Beach Reads For Convention Season

Three Beach Reads For Convention Season

Norman Mailer, “Miami and the Siege of Chicago: An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1968” (Random House) Random House couldn’t have chosen a better time to reprint Norman Mailer’s account of 1968’s political conventions than in the current 2016 election season. We’re...

  • James Franco is not a Queer Poet

    James Franco is not a Queer Poet

    I want to believe in James Franco. For those readers who are new to the figure of Franco the artist, the actor-cum-poet has been part of the literary conversation since his collection of short stories, “Palo Alto,” was published by Scribner in 2010. Much of this conversation has been skepticism,...

  • Lester K. Spence's 'Knocking The Hustle' diagnoses the neoliberal nightmare

    Lester K. Spence's 'Knocking The Hustle' diagnoses the neoliberal nightmare

    No other book out right now so expertly describes what it's like to live and work in the United States as Lester K. Spence's "Knocking The Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics." A cogent rundown of the ways this country has been crippled by its embrace of neoliberalism, the book...

  • 'Shout Outs,' a poem by Claudia Speck

    'Shout Outs,' a poem by Claudia Speck

    s/o to the smudging sage at the office of the therapist who made me give a detailed list of my sexual history as a teenage girl then invited me to take peyote with him in oklahoma as long as i didn't tell my parents s/o to the lavender scented candle i roasted a hot link over one of the times my...

  • The Anthropologist: Sidney Mintz, 1922-2015

    The Anthropologist: Sidney Mintz, 1922-2015

    I'm in the middle of cashiering a transaction, during the lunch rush, and on the verge of being profoundly annoyed when this weird old man appears behind my counter. "Please, finish whatever you need to. I just had a question," he says. He says he would like to put the bill for a group of Johns...

  • In 'Mama Tried,' Emily Flake embraces the foibles of parenting

    In 'Mama Tried,' Emily Flake embraces the foibles of parenting

    For many years, our three offspring requested an addition to the family clan, a fourth child to love (or so they claimed. It's possible that they only craved equality: even sides for dinner arguments and rounds of Mario Kart.). While my husband and I did not relent, we marveled at their worrisome...

  • Ian F. Svenonius' 'Censorship Now!!' offers a smarter, more precise model of the D.C. punk hero's shtick

    Ian F. Svenonius' 'Censorship Now!!' offers a smarter, more precise model of the D.C. punk hero's shtick

    To remix an old saw for the Internet age: Familiarity breeds a particularly nasty, exhausted sort of apathy—the burnout of overexposure to a brand, whether it be Hulu's fusillade of unchanging ads, Upworthy's smug click bait, or an artist's monomaniacal shtick. For a longtime devotee, the first...

  • Artist Lu Zhang spends a year in the George Peabody Library

    Artist Lu Zhang spends a year in the George Peabody Library

    With its profound collection of books and prints dating as far back as the Renaissance, as well as its history and Neo-Grec architecture and ornamentation, the George Peabody Library is as much a museum as the Walters across the street. But for the past year, it has been at once a library, a museum,...

  • Three Poems By Tariq Touré

    Three Poems By Tariq Touré

    "Yasiin" Beyond the 24-hour news cycle There is a place Where politicians eat the dreams of children And men die for mineral wealth Where Slavery is the order of the day And peace is an ancient idea Where men become obese from the flesh of Nations And lies come bundled in tight-eyed smiles Where...

  • In his memoir 'I Feel Like Going On,' Ray Lewis talks about (among other things) the Bible, butterflies, and police brutality

    In his memoir 'I Feel Like Going On,' Ray Lewis talks about (among other things) the Bible, butterflies, and police brutality

    To get a sense of how Ray Lewis writes in his expressive, tangent-filled, hyper-sincere memoir "I Feel Like Going On," it's best to get a sense of how he talks. On Jan. 12, 2013, following the Baltimore Ravens' victory over the Denver Broncos which got the team one game closer to the Super Bowl,...

  • 'Slapped Up,' a short story by Abdu Mongo Ali

    'Slapped Up,' a short story by Abdu Mongo Ali

    This better be some good stuff. I'm out voyaging in girl looks. Roaming from club to bar, looking for scandals, eyeing for some peacocks. Colorful ones. Nice build, thick, pleasantly stout, and big eyed. Why? Ask my scabs. My punctuation marks on my skin. They cover my left arm like leprosy, following...

  • Associative journeys through the nightmares of American writers

    American Smoke: Journeys to the End of the Light Iain Sinclair Faber and Faber Eleanor Roosevelt seems like she was generally pretty cool. But that famous, perhaps apocryphal sentence "Great minds discuss ideas, mediocre minds discuss events, small minds discuss people" attributed to her seems...

  • Former steel worker wins prestigious poetry prize

    In the summer of 1970, Afaa Michael Weaver was a clerk recording the weight of the massive tin coils produced at Sparrows Point Steel Mill, tin that would later be turned into soup cans and the like. He used a crayon to mark the coils, which would be warm enough to melt the wax, so his numbers...

  • Lydia Davis is master of white space

    Can't and Won't Lydia Davis Farrar, Straus, and Giroux The latest collection of short stories by Lydia Davis creates full-scale worlds in a single sentence. The End. It would be appropriate-or at least tempting- to review her new collection, Can't and Won't (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), with that...

  • Steven Galloway's new novel grapples with a mind unraveling

    The Confabulist Steven Galloway There is, perhaps, nothing more terrifying than the possibility of being led astray by one's own mind. If we can't trust our own perceptions, memories, or reasoning, then there is no escape-no way to move out of the tortured state of limbo that lies between our own...

  • Box Brown takes pro wrestling very seriously

    Andre the Giant: Life and Legend Box Brown Philadelphia-based cartoonist and professional-wrestling superfan Box Brown, who released Andre the Giant: Life and Legend last week, can easily recall his earliest memory of Andre the Giant. Given his graphic novel's deeply empathetic, warts-and-all portrayal...

  • The Nation's sports editor talks about Brazil's Dance with the Devil

    Razil's Dance With the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy Dave Zirin Haymarket Press Earlier this month protests erupted in 10 cities in Brazil, which is set to host matches for soccer's biggest tournament, the World Cup, June 12 to July 13. Brazilians have demonstrated...

  • Worse Than The Blues

    Worse Than The Blues

    How the suburbs made John Fahey more miserable than the meanest bluesmen in Mississippi

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