Posts Tagged: Los Angeles Review of Books

How Albert Camus Wrote a French Classic

By

Kamel Daoud’s The Mersault Investigation catapulted Albert Camus’s The Stranger into the center of conversation in many literary circles. After helping get Camus’s Algerian Chronicles published in English in 2013, Alice Kaplan’s latest effort, Looking For The Stranger, explains how the book came to be.

...more

The Queer History of Children Books

By

Over at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Kelly Blewett retraces a fragment of the long-needed queer history of children books:

Nordstrom was also queer. Although it seems she rarely mixed her private life with her professional one, a number of the most famous writers whom she published were queer, too, including Brown, Fitzhugh, and Sendak.

...more

Born of a Limitless Imagination

By

Over at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Ilana Teitelbaum writes a glowing review of Helen Oyeyemi’s short story collection, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, praising Oyeyemi’s singular voice. Teitelbaum writes: “The dazzle of Oyeyemi’s technique fully engages the reader’s mind; the heart is undisturbed.

...more

Ghost in the Machine

By

At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Professor Ted Underwood talks about why Digital Humanities, the new discipline he’s often associated with, doesn’t exist:

It’s true that [Digital Humanities] can be aligned with managerial thinking—administrators like it. It can also be hypnotized by shiny pictures and prone to moralistic groupthink on social media.

...more

Chris Kraus + Jill Soloway

By

Chris Kraus’s experimental, cult classic I Love Dick has been adapted for TV by Jill Soloway, and it’s time to revisit and scrutinize Kraus’s use of the slur “kike,” and indeed Kraus’s sense of her own Jewishness. In the Los Angeles Review of Books, Rebecca Sonkin places Kraus in the Jewish literary tradition of her “macho, horny, predecessors,” and asks, “Could it be that Kraus is the female Jewish schlemiel, an awkward and unlucky person—insecure, emotionally hungry, self-obsessed—for whom things never turn out right?”

...more

What Do I Know?

By

For the Los Angeles Review of Books, essayist Patrick Madden discusses why he was drawn to the medium and how he finds his wide-ranging subjects:

In terms of art — whether sounded or painted or written — a big part of making it is getting beyond the seeming clarity, or admitting that clarity isn’t possible, seeing things in new ways that give hearers, viewers, readers access to a beauty they’ve not experienced before.

...more

From the Italian

By

The goal is to deliver something from another language into your own language so people will read it and like it. I think sometimes it’s forgotten that you have to be a good writer in your own language. 

As part of its “Multilingual Wordsmiths” series, the Los Angeles Review of Books features an interview with Ann Goldstein, translator of Elena Ferrante’s novels.

...more

Feeding Your Head: The History of LARB

By

Hungry intellectuals are flocking to the Los Angeles Review of Books. Here is the humble story of how LARB came into being in April of 2011. Reader Matthew Weiner (of Mad Men fame) says:

It speaks to Los Angeles in that it’s a little bit renegade… It’s got a little bit of ‘f— you.’ It has the highest chance of any place that I read for me to discover something new.

...more

Poetry as Peace Work

By

Over at Los Angeles Review of Books, Leah Mirakhor engages poet Robin Coste Lewis, 2015 National Book Award winner of Voyage of the Sable Venus, in deep and generous conversation about writing and life. Coste Lewis remembers Audre Lorde as a poet who “refused to condescend to her readers,” and who was a great inspiration to Coste Lewis’s seventeen-year-old self. 

...more

Common Strange

By

Ena Brdjanovic describes the commanding, performative, discomfiting, and off-kilter folk tale qualities of Diane Williams’s recent story collection:

In sum, the 40 short stories of Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine amount to a collage of beautifully trimmed and perplexing details, of moments that make us feel alien in a world we so readily recognize.

...more

Thrilling and Bewildering

By

Her poems’ shifts from the tactile and concrete to the amorphous and the abstract is simultaneously thrilling and bewildering…

In the Los Angeles Review of Books, Noemi Press poetry editor Diana Arterian takes a close look at Sarah Vap’s Viability, a new collection of poems that consider economic and social questions.

...more

National Amnesia

By

Race is an important and central issue in the United States, but what about abroad?

It appears that both the United States and the United Kingdom are witnessing one of those moments when we confront what Toni Morrison said in an early interview about Beloved (1987), ‘something that the characters don’t want to remember, I don’t want to remember, black people don’t want to remember, white people don’t want to remember.

...more

John’s Pixie Dream Girls

By

Mary Jo Tewes Cramb discusses the perpetuation of the “manic pixie dream girl” stereotype in John Green’s novels:

In Green’s novels, there is considerable tension between the potent appeal of his manic pixie characters, the excitement and fun they bring into the narrators’ lives, and the messages these characters impart about their own lives and identities.

...more

The Lives of Unfamous Women

By

Anne Boyd Rioux reviews a new biography on the wife of Lord Byron, Anne Isabella Milbanke. In her review, Rioux evaluates the still-too-high standard set for women’s biographies, particularly when those women lived in the shadow of famous men:

Insisting that the female relatives of famous men be accomplished players on the world stage in their own right in order to warrant biographical treatment is perhaps asking too much.

...more

The Middle East in Writing

By

Increasingly, a writer needs an access point, a micro-focus, a close-up lens—even a gimmick: one small story through which larger historical truths can be elucidated anew.

For the Los Angeles Review of Books, N.S. Morris writes about how journalism inform stories being written about the Middle East, exploring the various shapes nonfiction takes in the process of trying to understand something so expansive.

...more

1984 or 2016?

By

For the Los Angeles Review of Books, Stephen Rohde gives a thorough and chilling analyzation of our current socio-political climate which highlights just how closely our world parallels the one that George Orwell predicted in his novel 1984:

No one aware of post-9/11 society in the United States, England, Europe, and elsewhere can fail to see how chillingly Orwell (and Madison) imagined the consequences of permanent war in instilling fear, inflaming patriotism, creating an obedient citizenry, and establishing a pervasive surveillance state.

...more