Blair Braverman discusses her latest book, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North, gendered travel narratives, and the pressure to write about personal trauma. ...more
Raphael Cormack discusses The Book of Khartoum: A City in Short Fiction, a collection of short stories he co-edited and translated, the editorial process, and the responsibilities that accompany translating writing. ...more
And while the faces and nomenclature between these historically discrete agents of change differ, the one governing commonality remains the same: unfettered gun ownership and correlative violence play a pivotal role....more
Jeremy Earl discusses his latest album, City Sun Eater in the River of Light, the fruitful tension of city vs. country, finding beauty in the darkness of today’s world, and the enduring good vibes of the Grateful Dead. ...more
Wednesday 8/31: A collaboration between Dreamhaven Books and Science Fiction Minnesota, the twenty-year-old Speculations Reading Series aims to highlight a new speculative fiction author each month. This month you can hear Conrad Zero read from his latest work. Dreamhaven Books. 6:30 p.m., free.
The Oxford Magazine similarly described the macaroni as not belonging to the gender binary: “There is indeed a kind of animal, neither male, nor female, a thing of neuter gender, lately started up among us. It is called a Macaroni.
Sworn haters of the word ‘moist,’ now is your chance to be heard. Oxford Dictionaries has launched a worldwide vote to find English language speakers’ least favorite word, the Guardian’s Alison Flood reported. Other top contenders include “no,” “like,” and “phlegm.”
This week, your Storming Bohemian has moved to a new house. Again. And so some reflections:
There is much to be said for stability, I know. The steady quiet observation of the likes of Annie Dillard or Henry Thoreau evokes my admiration. I am even an oblate of a Benedictine monastery. I know monks who have remained cloistered for half a century, and wonderful, interesting, eccentric, and contemplative men they are. (more…)
We regularly turn to Aquarium Drunkard for its mixtapes, and this week the site has released another perfect moodscape for the season. The Palm Tree Falls into the Sea: An August Mixtape is the end-of-summer jammer you’re searching for, with songs from Alice Coltrane, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Chuck Berry, the Raincoats, Lucinda Williams, Arthur Russell, Brian Eno… just listen; it’s perfect.
Granta’s summer issue is themed “The Legacies of Love,” and in a new story from the online issue, Glasgow-based writer Sophie Mackintosh strips love back to its animal bones in a story that is less rom-com and more Hunger Games, but without the love triangle.
Murder class was the new thing, but of course they didn’t call it that. They called it Specialised Life Skills for Girls and it happened on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
In “The Weak Spot,” Mackintosh reveals a society exactly like ours, but where teenage girls are educated in survival skills and self-defense and then sent into the woods on a rite of passage: to hunt and kill a man. (more…)
I think what we get from the artists, writers, musicians, photographers, and so on who we admire is a sense of encouragement or permission to go ahead and do whatever it is that was maybe latent in us already.
Cook’s portraits are usually accompanied by texts distilled from interviews she conducts with her subjects (afterward, she says, because she prefers the shoot itself to remain as meditative as possible). This provides her, and her audience, with a verbal layer of insight not normally accessible to photographers.
In the Los Angeles Review Of Books, Michael Kurcfeld discusses the photography of Mariana Cook, whose portfolio extends far beyond the celebrity portraits she is famous for.
Beyond Plath’s infamous retelling, the Barbizon has a strong association in popular culture as a rite-of-passage for “small-town” girls trying to make it in Manhattan. It acted as a kind nexus, bridging the old world of supervision and parental control with the alluring world of the city, energizing many of its residents with the prospect of work, freedom, and, of course, men.
The power of names is intricately woven into the fabric of our identities.
At The Establishment, Jené Gutierrez recounts an argument with her editors over using the correct rendering of bell hooks’s name, and how language has historically functioned as a site of white privilege and domination.
Writing for the Guardian, novelist Val McDermid disputes the recent study which suggests that “literary” fiction readers are more empathetic than “genre” readers:
There is no doubt that, historically, there was a valid distinction. Nobody would attempt to suggest that there is an equivalence between Agatha Christie and Virginia Woolf. (Let’s face it, Woolf couldn’t plot for toffee.) Those days are long gone. Novels that undeniably have generic elements also often have powerful literary elements. They’re well-written, they have strongly-drawn characters and they deal with thought-provoking themes in challenging ways.
It’s not easy being a literary star. From the existential crises that comes from fame to the struggle to follow up a critically acclaimed first novel, becoming “a writer” for life involves a lot more than publishing a bestseller. Read Lev Grossman’s fascinating bio for TIME Magazine on what Jonathan Safran Foer (author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) has been up to: everything from divorce, leaving a major television project, to taking nearly eleven years to write his third novel.
The staff at Poets & Writers put out a call to writers—“some of our most thoughtful and articulate citizens”—to share their perspectives on important issues for the next US president. Fifty writers weigh in, including Javier Zamora, Mira Ptacin, and Ocean Vuong. Rita Dove writes:
“If we are ever to attain our forefathers’ aspirations for ‘a more perfect union,’ educating our young—not only in the sciences, but also the arts—cannot, dare not, be neglected. If our children are unable to say what they mean, no one will know how they feel; if they cannot imagine different worlds, they are stumbling through a darkness made all the more sinister by its lack of reference points.”
On NPR’s All Things Considered, Petra Mayer offers advice to those who she describes as the “unpunished” villains of literature (O’Brien from Orwell’s 1984, X-Men’s Magneto, Milton’s Satan): win over the audience with your cause and relatable personal faults, and you’ll not only survive to the last page but maybe also land a spot in the English canon.
When thinking about the importance of house music, the dance that it created—and that inspired the genre’s evolution—is less often discussed. Chicago’s footwork crew The Era is doing what it can to call attention to the significance of its style as art form and as cultural celebration. At Dazed Magazine, in a piece highlighting the group and the work they represent, Louise Brailey writes:
If you’ve spent any time exploring footwork on YouTube you’ll have seen the moves—the erks and jerks, skates, ghost, running man—and the incredible agility and precision that goes into bringing them all together. Sometimes it seems that a brilliant dancer isn’t just battling his rivals in the circle, but some very fundamental laws of physics, too. What is less obvious to the spectator is the huge significance invested in the feedback loop between the scene’s dancers and producers, essentially the motor behind the music’s constant renewal and development.