Welcome to This Week in Trumplandia. Check in with us every Thursday for a weekly roundup of the most pertinent and relevant content on our country, which is currently spiraling down a crappy, toilet drain. You owe it to yourself, your communities, and your humanity to contribute whatever you can, even if it is just awareness of the truth....more
Posts Tagged: New York Times
Just announced today: beloved Brooklyn bookstore BookCourt is closing after 35 years in business.
Independent booksellers were the focus of a panel at the Miami Book Fair—discussion focused on how big business was surprised that small business strategies could be useful in selling books....more
For the office drones struggling to come back after the four-day weekend, take heart in James Livingston’s essay for Aeon considering whether work is necessary in our present age.
Here at The Rumpus, Helen Betya Rubinstein expresses a sense of dislocation that’s familial and personal in the face of our newly reinforced election-cycle gender binary....more
I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night –Roman emperor Gaius Caligula (AD 12–AD 41).
Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich. –Donald Trump
Happy day after Halloween! For the New York Times, Terrence Rafferty reviews a variety of chilling fiction, and delves deep into why these are exceptional:
The short story is the ideal form for horror because it can convey a quick, vivid impression of fear, without having to extend the action past the breaking point of the reader’s credulity… For longer works like “The Graveyard Apartment,” there’s really only one basic plot available: A person (or a group of people) struggles to escape an impossible situation.
Lois Lowry takes to the New York Times with her story of reading Lord of the Flies for the first time at age sixteen, and how her perspective on its portrayal of children and violence has (and hasn’t) changed in the book’s six decades since publication:
Today’s young readers, inundated as they have been recently by violent apocalyptic books, probably cannot imagine the effect William Golding’s novel had on the innocent and introspective girl that I was then.
I only have a curiosity, an interest, a love, and that’s it, really.
At the New Yorker, Michele Moses shares a video clip from the 2016 New Yorker Festival featuring writers Zadie Smith and Jeffrey Eugenides in conversation about their writing habits, point of view, and research....more
New evidence uncovered by history professor and researcher Thomas Weber indicates that Hitler himself wrote the 1923 biography Adolf Hitler: His Life and His Speeches, which is credited to Baron Adolf Victor von Koerbe. Weber’s research implies that Hitler had designs on power earlier than historians originally thought, reports Dina Kraft for the New York Times....more
By forcing blue-state liberal types to reckon with a demographic they had long dismissed as a punch line—low-income, uneducated whites in economically depleted regions—he [Donald Trump] awakened them to the fact that the groovy progressive social values they had assumed were a national fait accompli were actually only half the story.
Although best known for “The Lottery”, there was much more to Shirley Jackson’s work—and life. At the New York Times, Charles McGrath reviews of Ruth Franklin’s new biography A Rather Haunted Life, and explores Franklin’s journalistic yet personal take on the woman who remains massively influential, but often overlooked in the American literary canon....more
Kaitlyn Greenidge, author most recently of We Love You, Charlie Freeman (Algonquin Books) provides her take on Lionel Shriver’s recent remarks at the Brisbane Writers’ Festival for the New York Times. Greenidge recalls writing her first novel in which there was an eighty-year-old Yankee heiress....more
In a New York Times article, Elliott Holt writes about how omniscience is making a comeback in contemporary fiction. She writes:
The effects of omniscience are authority and scope; novels with such narrators seem especially confident. The characters may be uncertain, but we sense the controlling force above them.
In the New York Times, Rachel Cusk takes on two new memoirs about infertility and the quest for motherhood to explore the wholly compelling “half-analogy between the writing student and the woman embarking on in vitro fertilization.” Julia Leigh’s Avalanche relates six years of the author’s trying and ultimately failing to get pregnant; Belle Boggs, in The Art of Waiting, uses Virginia Woolf’s account of childlessness to explore her own....more
Perumal Morrigan is an author from a small Indian town who writes about caste and how it plays out in fictional villages. After bearing an organized attack against his novel One Part Woman in his hometown, the author didn’t write or read for several years, reports Ellen Barry for the New York Times....more
As both a storyteller and a stylist, Braverman is remarkably skilled, with a keen sense of visceral detail … that borders on sublime.
Harry Potter fans are celebrating the release of J.K Rowling’s newest work, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth installment in the Harry Potter series. However, unlike the other novels in the series, Cursed Child is the script of a play, written primarily by playwright Jack Thorne with the help of Rowling:
It’s hard to imagine enthusiasm running as high for the unvarnished script, which could fall flat on the page without the elaborate staging and the emotional nuances of a performance.
When a writer has said all that he or she has to say, or as much as possible before mortality intercedes, the body of work remains incomplete no matter the size of the output. The taunt persists: That’s it?
At the New York Times, Roger Rosenblatt bemoans the haunting presence of the writer’s oeuvre....more
In her review of Cynthia Ozick’s new essay collection, Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays, Zoe Heller quotes Ozick quoting Lionel Trilling in reference to Jonathan Franzen’s commercial-literary ambition: “a writer must ‘direct his words to his spiritual ancestors, or to posterity, or even, if need be, to a coterie.’” Heller is interested in Ozick’s endurance, and her persistent delineation of fame and recognition....more
You don’t like to quit, but need a nudge to wade back into the novel’s overflowing streams of character consciousness, arcane references and shifting structure to follow those people going about life in Dublin on June 16, 1904.
Yes, another Bloomsday has come and gone, and maybe you didn’t get around to finishing James Joyce’s epic masterpiece, Ulysses, as you had hoped....more
In a piece on a new production of Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio,” the New York Times makes a case for this old art form’s role as an agent of change in our tumultuous cultural reality:
For centuries, opera has been a tool of power, a spectacle developed and organized by influential Western nations and the elites within them.
There is a new name to add to this list—Alton B. Sterling, 37, killed by police officers in Baton Rouge, La. It is a bitter reality that there will always be a new name to that list. Black lives matter, and then in an instant, they don’t.
At the New York Times, Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., writes about how a national park in Montana left an indelible mark on her and her marriage:
We were both intoxicated by the place, not only by its beauty but by the feeling of remoteness that is as much psychological as geographic.