What Snooki and Joseline Taught Me About Race, Motherhood, and Reality TV

I am not alone in this experience, either. On a formal level, this design functions to reconcile Hernandez’s Love & Hip Hop identity as a physically aggressive bad girl with her soon-to-be identity as a mother. It is Hernandez’s raw emotional honesty (she talks candidly about exchanging sex for financial security, for instance) that makes

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Our National Scream: On Jared Yates Sexton’s “The People Are Going to Rise Like Waters Upon Your Shore”

Maybe it’s just a few hours after a rally to sit and talk with the people in a more involved fashion than simply getting quotes. Yet in 2016, a European-style socialist and an ethnic nationalist became the dominant forces in the United States’s two major political parties. Talk radio and Fox News created a market

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Nights of the Mu-Tron III: On Peter Conners’s “Cornell ’77” and the Mystique of the Grateful Dead

When the music started, I looked at the stage, where the actual Grateful Dead stood under the shifting glow of rainbow-colored stage-lights, playing — well, what sounded like a “Grateful Dead song” to my young ears: syrupy-sweet, bland, middle-of-the-road country rock with pseudo-mystical lyrics. As a prime Betty Board artifact, this particular “He’s Gone” reveals

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Divided We Stand: “Confederate” and Civil War Alternate Histories

Civil War alternate history has a long, strange background. The genre purports to change history, but it only does so with deeply familiar images and patterns that are already part of the reader’s historical imagination, which it subverts, reverses, distorts, picks apart, and reassembles into something new-yet-familiar. Take for example the famous story of Henry

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LARB Radio Hour: Ai Weiwei on “Human Flow,” Refugees, Art, History, Spirit, and Nature

The conversation weaves through matters central to 21st century humanity: digital technology, globalization, national identity, economic inequality, climate catastrophes, demagogues, and threats to liberty — as well as more eternal themes like war, beauty, human vulnerability, and how we bear witness to the mystery of existence. LARB Radio Hour: Ai Weiwei on “Human Flow,” Refugees,

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A Magnetic and Complicated Personality

He marshals testimony from a vast array of orchestral colleagues, fellow conductors, critics, friends, and audience members, who bore witness to the intensity and concentration Toscanini brought to the podium: his astoundingly capacious photographic memory, which allowed him to conduct most music without a score, ensured a unity of performance unprecedented in the memories of

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5 Books: Neil Hewison on Most Memorable Books from His 31 Years at AUC Press

It was some time before I found it. Neil Hewison will retire as   Associate Director for Editorial Programs after more than 30 years at the publishing house. Two of my great personal pleasures of working on this book were my meetings with Yusuf, over beer and shisha at the Grillon, to ask him about

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How Do We Proceed with Our Own Internal Conflict?: On the Translation of Mihail Sebastian’s “For Two Thousand Years”

Haim, who have endless arguments. He sees their commitment to their movements as a way of escaping their own turmoil: “It’s not easy to spend days or weeks running from yourself, but it can be done.” One day the diarist escapes a menacing group on campus by ducking into a classroom. Scattered minor occurrences, gestures

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Paving Paradise: The Beauty and Terror of Nicola Lagioia’s “Ferocity”

Contemplating a recent case in which three men beat another half to death, a Bari chief justice — and former lover of Clara’s — places the blame for male brutality on “a residue from a time before the first laws were chiseled into the basalt, a very distant ferocious era, always ready to open wide

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The Mind Plays Tricks: Memory Loss and Nostalgia in Rachel Khong’s “Goodbye, Vitamin”

Ruth’s father wrote of her understanding the world, Ruth writes of father’s unknowing of it. Who would have thought that memory loss lends itself, somewhat paradoxically, so well to the novel. If we are to take into account the theory of suspension of disbelief, then we are in a constant state of suspension throughout this

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Imprisoned Palestinian Poet Ashraf Fayadh Wins PEN Canada One Humanity Award

The award, which provides the winner $5,000 CAD, “honours PEN’s commitment to literature as a common currency between nations, and as a catalyst for mutual understanding and respect.” Fayadh, who is also a visual artist, released the collection Instructions Within   in 2008. Mona Kareem, was longlisted for the 2017 Best Translated Book Award. This

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Charif Majdalani Wins 2017 ‘Khayrallah Prize’ for Work Capturing Experiences of Lebanese Immigrants

Its   richness is leavened with humor, with self-deprecating asides and post-modern reminders that this is an imagined history.” Majdalani’s new novel,   L’empereur à pied   (The Emperor on Foot),   is on the 2017 Femina and the 2017 Renaudot longlists, and was also longlisted for the FNAC in August. According to the release,

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The Adventure of the Immobile Journey: On the Eduardo Lalo Novels, “Uselessness” and “Simone”

Once back in Puerto Rico, the returnee of the novel begins writing his anti-saga. Why is she stalking him? His is another Caribbean, one without color, but one that is conceptually denser. In the first of these essays, Los pies de San Juan (“The Feet of San Juan”), published in 2002, we follow the footprints

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The Ins and Outs of Europe’s Deep Establishment

It’s a story with no shortage of villains emerging from the poisoned ideology behind economic austerity, from the rather mean-minded Dijsselbloem to a corps of technocrats, both from the EU institutions as well as from inside the sporadically disloyal Greek bureaucracy. A few minutes after that poignant moment with the new prime minister, Varoufakis took

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‘Book of Sleep’: Intensive Reflections from Haytham El-Wardany

Sleeping, in El-Wardany’s view, is a cave where we can escape from the tiring workdays and allow ourselves to be isolated from the world for a few hours. He does this through both linguistic and literary research, allowing us to grow closer to his ideas on the subject in El-Wardany’s unique way. El-Wardany refuses those

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On Anna Maria Maiolino’s “Entrevidas” (Saturday, September 16, 2017)

It may dawn on many, at roughly the same time, that this is Maiolino herself, coaching her grandson from the wings; no one shushes her anymore. Those photographs, a triptych, show the rough cobblestones of a street with several eggs; then, that street with Maiolino’s bare calves and feet, the sole of her right foot

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