Posts by: Anna March

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #24: Pussy Riot

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This column has been on hiatus since the springtime and I’m happy to be back. I’ve been reading so much—mostly books by women—this summer. While I’ve been away, I’ve been thinking about gender more than ever, if you can believe that.

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You’re Just a Sinner I Am Told: Prince & the Sexual Revolution

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It was all about desire, including women’s desire, Prince’s music. Women were not degraded. They were exalted, body and mind both. ...more

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #23: Plays to Devour on the Page and the Stage

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Of course it’s tremendous to see a play on stage, but reading a play, its script, is a pleasure in its own right. I think for many of us the notion of reading plays was ruined in high school, what with the dreadful, hackneyed line-by-line dissection of Romeo and Juliet and Our Town led by an uninspired instructor.

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #22: Classic Novels That Are a Joy to Read

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Sometimes we bypass the classic novels on the way to the rich offering of current literary fiction. Fair enough; there is so much to love in today’s fiction. But once in a while, dust off a classic gem and consider the language, the depth, the metaphorical heft these books carry—along with being engrossing, powerful reads.

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #21: John Irving

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And that is how I feel about John Irving novels. That they gave me everything. ...more

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #20: Greats

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Great strides, great artists, great desires, great complexity—this week’s books are all about these kinds of greats. They also all showcase exceptional writing and take us far and wide—from elective politics to abstract art, from Coney Island to California—to explore great ideas.

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #19: Truth

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Truth—a higher, bigger truth—is what I want when I read. I want to nod my head in radical understanding. I want to grasp our complex, fragile humanity better. I want the ancient truths on every page, shown in unique ways. These books deliver.

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #18: A Valentine: Fab Books by Fab Lit Citizens

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I’m just back from Iowa, writing about the Democratic Caucus for Salon. You know what will make you think about citizenry? Watching hundreds of working-class union members standing in the harsh wind and freezing rain waiting to get in to a Hillary Clinton rally in an overheated high school gym in Cedar Rapids.

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #16: For My Friend Craig, on a Boozy Midnight

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You know how you can like a book just fine, but if you love a book, you’ll tell a friend about it? I told my friend Craig about all of these books. Craig has a facile brain and big heart and a sometimes crusty manner—which makes me like him extra.

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #15: Beautiful Renderings of Complex Locales

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In both fiction and non-fiction, I love a book that helps us unravel ourselves by illuminating place, a book that transports me from here to there. These six books will take you far… and deliver you.

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #14: Memoirs about Hard Times and Beauty

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I love memoirs about difficult times that don’t sugarcoat it, that don’t pretty it up. I love a memoir that finds the beauty—there is such an unbelievable amount of beauty in this world—without handing out a Hollywood ending, without dipping the pain in glitter, without pretending we all get held all night, every night by someone wonderful with a fat heart and artistic soul.

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #13: Bob Dylan

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That’s how I experience the world, courtesy of Bob. I’m lucky. Bob will get you through. ...more

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #12: The Art and Craft of Writing

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The writing advice I give is this:

1) Sit down
2) Write

These wise and talented writers have more to say.

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #11: Thanksgiving Is Racist as Hell

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It’s long past time to explode some myths about Indigenous Peoples, whites and Thanksgiving. For many of us in the US, Thanksgiving has become a day to reunite with friends and family, watch football and gorge ourselves on an enormous feast.

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Suffragette and Feminist Inaction

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A significant issue in the suffragette movement was its racist treatment of women of color. ...more

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #10: Remember AIDS?

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AIDS isn’t over, but far too many think it is. Not everyone is haunted by remembering the dying, the friends gone gaunt, the lesions appearing, the artists dropping out of sight, the funerals, the lie-filled obituaries, the terrified waits for results of blood tests taken by nurses wearing masks and triple gloves.

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #9: We Shall Overcome?

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Last year on our way to and from getting married in New Orleans, my now husband and I went on a civil rights pilgrimage. We went to Montgomery and Birmingham; we went to Selma. We drove the Pettus Bridge there in Selma a dozen times, imagining, feeling a weighty sadness all over.

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #8: Abortion: My Body, My Choice

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“He had heard her say, so many times, that a society that approved of making abortion illegal was a society that approved of violence against women; that making abortion illegal was simply a sanctimonious, self-righteous form of violence against women – it was just another way of legalizing violence against women, Nurse Caroline would say.”

–John Irving, The Cider House Rules

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #7: Guns

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Guns are pervasive in American society. Whether it is the prominent role they frequently play in various forms of entertainment or the epidemic of gun violence, it seems they are everywhere. With more mass shootings than there have been days this year, it is virtually impossible to turn on the news without hearing about the devastating impact guns are capable of.

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #6: Eat Me: Delicious Food Memoirs

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It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one.

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Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #4: Water, Water, Everywhere

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It’s hard to escape news about water these days. Drought on the West Coast, hurricane season raging on the East Coast, and NASA found water on Mars. No matter where you are, these books will drench you.

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