No supergroup rumors here (sadly), but both delivered performances this week that you may have missed. First, Grace Jones killed it at the Afropunk festival, topless, in full body paint, and wielding a hula hoop through the entirety of “Slave to the Rhythm.” A crowd member did us all a favor by catching a short clip of the performance, which you can watch via Dazed Digital....more
Posts Tagged: NPR
The Hugo Award is one of the highest honors bestowed upon science fiction, a genre which is (finally) broadening to include a diversity of authors and views. That’s not a good thing, according to many white male writers and fans, who have banded together as the “Sad Puppies” to fight against what they see as affirmative action for women and writers of color who are dominating the nominations for the Hugos....more
Over the holiday weekend, Linton Weeks wrote for NPR’s History Dept. on the critical role of librarians in World Wars I and II. Weeks spoke to Cara Bertram, an archivist for the American Library Association:
The books that did make it into the hands of the troops, she says, boosted morale, provided connections to people back home and offered technical guidance.
Please help me dear God to be a good writer and to get something else accepted.
Juan Vidal examines how T.S. Eliot, Flannery O’Connor, and Madeleine L’Engle approach prayer, and how prayer helps one derive meaning in a creative life....more
In part, the crisis of The New York Public Library stems from the fact that it’s a weird entity. It’s not a state or city agency; instead, the library was founded as a private, nonprofit institution. It has always been governed by a board of trustees typically drawn from Manhattan’s 1 percent.
Part of [Gandhi’s] genius was he was able to broaden out the appeal of the independence movement…But the way he did it was by using Hindu iconography and stories, mythology…He was personally very unprejudiced about this..But for Muslims, ordinary Muslims, who would see this and listen to these speeches and so forth, he seemed like a Hindu figure more than a national figure.
So begins a piece on NPR from Roxane Gay on the New York Times’s newly released summer reading list, which features zero authors of color. Gay argues that national outlets with wide-ranging audiences, like NYT or NPR, should not and cannot afford to continue leaving out extraordinary works by a diversity of authors....more
China represents a huge marketplace for any product, and book publishers have finally caught on. More than 10,000 Chinese books were available at the Book Expo America. But as publishers race to embrace the Chinese market and bring Chinese authors to the West, censorship by the world’s largest authoritarian state represents a real challenge....more
Tea has a myriad of shapes. If I may speak vulgarly and rashly, tea may shrink and crinkle like a Mongol’s boots. Or it may look like the dewlap of a wild ox, some sharp, some curling as the eaves of a house.
The funny thing is it’s hard to explain, because it has nothing to do with The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. It has everything to do with The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor/Bachelorette, has written a novel, which he describes as “an extension of [his] brand.” NPR has the whole story....more
3D printers are the latest accessory arriving in modern public libraries. However, just like when libraries introduced technologies such as the Internet, 3D printers raise concerns over what the public should be allowed to do with the equipment. NPR takes a look at the challenges, guidelines, and goals of adding 3D printers to public libraries....more
Her name becomes shorthand for a republic of women and black artists with “no home in this place” to borrow a phrase from Morrison’s Nobel lecture, people who create, reclaim and celebrate art that is intent on offering something of use back to the people whom it illuminates.
There’s a lot to get excited about and offended by when reading Shakespeare with a feminist eye. NPR interviewed Tina Packer about her new book Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays, which chronicles how the playwright’s portrayal of women improved over time:
From there after, whether the women are disguised as men or whether they’re in their women’s dresses…he never steps back from their full humanity as human beings.
I feel like if you look at the history of Cuba, it’s always been a tumultuous one, even going back to Columbus, right? It always seems to have been a place that is sort of struggling to gain its footing in the world.
The novella-in-flash: What does it mean? How is it even possible? Kathleen Rooney and Abby Beckel, editors at Rose Metal Press, which specializes in hybrid forms, have recently set about defining this lesser-known form. This week, they spoke about My Very End of the Universe, their 2014 anthology of five novellas-in-flash, with Smokelong Quarterly’s Interviews Editor Karen Craigo....more
“It is a comfort to know how swiftly and thoroughly a civilization can crumble when nobody wants it anymore,” Rowan says early in his story…that observation is more than just a wry criticism of our current defunding of space exploration. It’s an indictment of the entire anti-scientific mindset that’s become increasingly, alarmingly prevalent in too many pockets of American society today.
So while there might be those out there who really want to elevate (and pigeonhole) Boyle as an important writer dedicating his career and talents to considering these seminal concerns of the American character (or whatever), Harder proves he’s too slick for that.
Carrie is most definitely of the horror genre, and horror is never about being comfortable. Society has changed, but what’s at the core of King’s novel remains as raw and powerful as it was four decades ago: Peer pressure, cliques, ruthless bullying, and being an outsider.
There’s the persistent seduction of collective amnesia, our desperate wanting to embrace a mythology that we’ve evolved. We want to erase the nightmarish truth that at one time, we were the kind of people who would inflict unspeakable cruelties to another human being…Rankine’s Citizen demands that we not look away.
In an interview with NPR, novelist and funnyman Paul Beatty discusses his novel The Sellout, and what’s on his mind when creating a world where plantation culture is reborn in California. The novel focuses on Bonbon, an African American man who reacts to the accidental shooting of his father by the LAPD by re-segregating his hometown and taking on a personal slave—an elderly man famous for his role in Little Rascals....more