Border Memories

This image was hard to avoid as I read Crux, in which Guerrero explores her family’s history in an attempt to see where things went wrong in her life. Details like the fantastical map in the beginning of the book make little sense at first. I found myself wanting to paint them. Guerrero hopes that

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American Studies Takes Care: An Interview with ASA President Roderick Ferguson

And I was like: I’m going to call it critique. It says something like, “I wear garments touched by hands all over the world […] the journey begins […] in the cotton fields of El Salvador.” And then it tells the journey of this garment. Right, you don’t necessarily want to do it, but you’re

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Anger Persists: On Rebecca Traister’s “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger”

But what worked for Trump wouldn’t have worked for Clinton, Traister suggests. The night before Dr. Resentment between white women and women of color simmered, particularly African-American women, as they brought up well-founded grievances with Hillary Clinton’s past policies and statements only to be met with a lack of sympathy and accusations of divisiveness. After

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“We Are Looking in a Mirror”: Ramsey Campbell Curates the History of Horror

Works that revive the Gothic tradition more directly, such as Ligotti’s, come across in part as self-conscious pastiche: a deliberate reversion to the genre’s roots. Several of the stories combine these two techniques via the traditional framing device of the mysterious manuscript found in some cryptic archive. Campbell has edited more than a dozen anthologies,

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A Substantially Good Book: On Charles J. Shields’s Life of John Williams

Writing about Nathanael West, another author who was nearly tossed into the dustbin of American literature, Elizabeth Hardwick quotes his letter to Edmund Wilson: “I’ve never had the same publisher twice — once bitten, etc. Shields’s analysis shows that the austere aesthetic principles of the so-called New Critics resonated with Williams’s puritan upbringing and played

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The Torturous Stress of Chess: An Interview with Brin-Jonathan Butler

I was hoping you could expand on this topic. The neuroscientists I interviewed for the book are very interested in the question you pose. D. One of the strange pleasures of watching chess up close is the realization that you’re witnessing two people whose lives might be further from yours than anyone else you’ve ever

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“Somebody Told Me My Body’s Not Mine to Hold”: An Interview with Erica Dawson

My mouth, a bit of gristle. In a way, I’ve become more aware of my blackness. You joke at one point about being into dead white boys. I feel like part of that, too, is a desire to speak very directly and assertively about blackness even as you’re trying to hold on to these other

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The Close Fight for Women’s Suffrage

A constitutional amendment to guarantee women the right to vote in elections nationwide had nonetheless proven elusive. In 1895, famed suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton attempted to reimagine Scripture to promote equality with the publication of the Woman’s Bible, but the book was denounced as blasphemy from the pulpit and most suffrage advocates, including Catt, tried

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LARB Radio Hour: Sandi Tan Talks Inspiration, Betrayal, and Singapore’s First Indie Film

Twenty years later it was recovered. LARB Radio Hour: Sandi Tan Talks Inspiration, Betrayal, and Singapore’s First Indie Film By LARB AV –  November 2, 2018 Shirkers is a film that Sandi Tan and her friends made in 1992, in Singapore, when they were teenagers. Tan evokes the DIY spirit of early ’90s Indie cinema, and

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A Desire for the Sentence: An Interview with Brian Dillon

¤ Nathan Goldman is a writer living in Minneapolis. I’m slightly suspicious of the current arguments about the novelistic essay, or the essayistic novel, just as I’m a little bit suspicious about current propositions about what is being called “autofiction,” which of course has been around for a long time and under precisely the same

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The Other Country

The combination of country roots and socialist politics remained potent, but nevertheless Wallace was trounced. For all its faults, The Honky Tonk on the Left does a great service simply by insisting on another approach, by showing that in criticism — like in art — one shouldn’t be afraid to take a side. Janson, a

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The Fallibility of Memory: An Interview with Frances de Pontes Peebles

There is no one Brazilian identity. The main difference in the research for The Air You Breathe was that music was a huge part of the discovery process. I tried to understand their origins, lyrics, rhymes, and the incredible storytelling within each song. My new project feels very different from anything I’ve done before, but similar in

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