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Nicole Sealey had an eventful 2017. Ordinary Beast, her debut collection of poetry, was published by Ecco in September, which caps off a year that began when she took the helm as the executive director of Cave Canem in January.
Every Zachary Lazar book since Sway (2008), his hypnotic study of chance connections between the Rolling Stones, Kenneth Anger and the Manson Family, creates its own genre.
Katherine and I have been friends for a little while. I met her at an ill-fated book sale where we were both stationed behind tables on which our recently published books were stacked, and no one was buying.
A.J. Jacobs is an author known for conducting social experiments—on himself.
Claire Vaye Watkins was born in Bishop, California in 1984. She was raised in the Mojave Desert, in Tecopa, California and across the state line in Pahrump, Nevada.
The nightly news has become a flood of narratives of sexual harassment and the rape of women and young girls by men in positions of power which lends a decided appeal to Naomi Alderman's tale of young girls suddenly getting "the power"—an ability to zap others with their own self-generated electrical charges.
“My vocation,” writes the narrator of Anelise Chen’s So Many Olympic Exertions, “has all the features of a vacation for most people.” The narrator is enrolled in an American Studies Ph.D. program at NYU, where she is given a small but livable salary, which enables her to devote herself to the pursuit of her intellectual interests.
I’ve always been a fan of poetry that tells a good a story. A human story. When I opened a book of poems I received in the mail the other day, Logos by Gil Fagiani, it didn’t take me long to know I was in the hands of an honest storyteller.
Cristina Rivera Garza’s The Iliac Crest is both a novel of ideas and one of visceral emotion written with language so precise and rich that at times it can feel overwhelming.
The first time I read Question Like A Face I mistakenly omitted the “like” in its title.
The young female narrator has become incredibly popular particularly in American Young Adult fiction. YA is big business with a plethora of formulaic narratives and often mediocre writing.
Gay Talese tells me it feels strange not to begin a Monday morning in “the Bunker.” By this he means his Manhattan workspace.
In her recently released Where the Time Goes, Illinois poet Gale Renee Walden moves the reader in various ways, including along the time-line.
Paul Yoon’s story collection, The Mountain, is an important book for many reasons, and yet what will likely draw readers back again and again is Yoon’s language, the potent beauty of its sentences.
For those who havent succumbed yet to resentment or despair, a feeling of impotence might be peeking out from behind their weary consciousnesses. While the neoliberal fairytale of eternal prosperity hardly lulls anyone to sleep, our waking hours dont seem to offer much of an alternative.
Adam Bravers haunting and mysterious novel, The Disappeared, plays with the notion of terrorism and its aftermath. Both of its two protagonists have had loved-ones disappear. Both disappeared-ones may have been lost in terrorist events...
The day after Ta-Nehisi Coates‘s new essay collection We Were Eight Years In Power: An American Tragedy was released, Coates appeared on CBS This Morning to promote it. Towards the end of the segment, Gayle King addresses him. Youre being called one of Americas best writers on race, she says. I heard you gagged when you heard that.
A teenage Lou Reed wrote under his High School yearbook photo that he had no plans, but will take life as it comes. It sounds like a Lou Reed song already. Young Lewis also wrote that he liked basketball, music, and naturally, girls.
The poet Philip Larkin famously wrote: They fuck you up, your mum and dad / They may not mean to, but they do. Anna Kerrigan, the protagonist of Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Egans new novel, might well nod at Larkins sentiment, certainly as it relates to her father.
An essay I return to often is Walter Benjamin’s Theses on the Philosophy of History, a piece renowned for its central image: the Angel of History, witnessing the past not as a series of separate events, but as a chaotic singularity—an infinite trainwreck piled atop itself, unto the end of the world.
Given the authors fame and the controversy surrounding his work, it was clear that his lecture would inevitably be received both as a diagnosis of the methods by which literature is currently taught in German universities and as a statement on the predicament of the written word today.
The Wardrobe Mistress is Patrick McGrath’s ninth novel, and he is top form as he paints a grim portrait of grief, fascism, and madness in post-war London.
A naked runner barrels down a hot, embittered stretch of roadway in Los Angeles, causing a traffic jam. We’re told we “might envy him,” and that he looks like “a superhero, but not one of the cool ones.”
Like many readers of My Struggle, I came to the series with plenty of doubts that only fueled my curiosity. How could a book that sounded so self-absorbed and boring be described as compulsively readable? I too was taken over by it, and read the first three volumes in the span of a month, astounded by its power.
There is a group of people around the world who are oppressed regardless of race, class, economic status, country of origin or religion: women.