Migrant Vernaculars: Deepak Unnikrishnan’s “Temporary People”

Deepak Unnikrishnan’s debut novel Temporary People takes as its subject the migrant communities of the United Arab Emirates. Figurative emasculation becomes literal: Tits, egged on by the narrator calling him a “pussy,” physically attacks the Arab boy. Mukundun disappears one day to the relief of most of his family. Make him drive until his wife

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Celebrated Kidlit Author and Publisher Amal Farah on Surprises, Processes, and Wishes

But when I am busy with a particular book, I write for more than eight   hours a day without actual writing. AF: Unfortunately, I do not have such friendships, although I do wish we had literary groups that supported the writing practice of its members. 1287. I am also the type of writer who

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Sun, Hum, and Shade

When she finally does steel herself for a visit, it does not send her deeper down the “rabbit hole of loss”; rather, the cemetery is enlivening. First thing in the morning, a reminder: this will alter, will not be recalled as it is. Try rather to see, however you can.” As demonstrated by her mother,

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Music Meets Writing: On Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa

The treatments drained him of the energy required to conduct regularly but left him with enough to talk. The tenor was Peter Dvorský.”) “It’s wonderful to think that Japan has produced such a marvelous pianist,” says Ozawa (after being described by the transcript as “[deeply moved]”) as he and Murakami listen to a performance by

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Duchamp’s Long Shadow: The Secret Meaning of “Tu m’”

Although Fountain is undoubtedly his most famous readymade, it was not his first. Duchamp’s painting depicts, in two dimensions, the shadow casting that it simultaneously performs in three. The gallery curators thought not, but this 1941 photograph from their archives indicates there is indeed a lighting fixture on the ceiling; the fixture is turned off,

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Post-Interest Politics

Perhaps such fulsome and nostalgic identities are only possible because the working class is as illusory an entity as the middle class that preceded it as the favored subject of American politics. It was this class that apparently rejected globalization in the form of immigration and neoliberalism. What this suggests is that party loyalties and

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Palestinian Poet Ahmed Dahbour, Friend of Mahmoud Darwish, Dies at 71

We’d summoned the earthquake and committed countries made of fruits and copper. Dahbour published a number of collections, and, in 1998, won the Palestine Award for Poetry. Once or twice we lived as we fancied. Dahbour had no formal education, but read avidly, and was able to return from exile and relocate to Ramallah in

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Best-selling Kuwaiti Author Bothayna al-Essa on the Anti-Consumerist Attitude Needed to Write

BE:   Yes, definitely, at least five   people. Bothayna al-Essa: I don’t think I had a say in the matter of me writing or not. Sawad Hussain: Music, painting, dancing are all forms of art and self-expression. But I’m yet to finish it. There is always something that we learn, something we achieve and

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The Convenient Indian: How Activists Get Native Americans Wrong

Harmon deftly uncovers other examples of similarly thriving and ill-fated Indians: “precisely because stories of wealthy Indians deviate from the familiar chronicle of economic decline they deserve to be told,” she avers, and “their stories, including the reactions they provoked, should afford new insights about Indians and non-Indians who dealt with them.” And yet, they

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Sunday Submissions: Etel Adnan Poetry Series Seeking Manuscripts

Its first annual prize went to    Lebanese-American writer and illustrator Jess Rizkallah. Her poetry collection, the magic my body becomes, is set to   be published this fall   by the University of Arkansas Press. “We believe this offers the poet the best possible opportunity to connect with his or her audience via the

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You Can’t Have Me: Feminist Infiltrations in Object-Oriented Ontology

Turns out, though, that some subset of the images labeled with those terms were images of women. It is this false face that Behar is really after in her necropolitical aesthetics. In overseeing the “translation between incommensurate ontological planes,” the cyborg goddess de-fleshes people (“organic liveliness is an afterthought”) even as she herself acquires a

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A Moral Image of the World

Eldridge’s own answer is that while our “grasp of the moral law” does not change, “our understanding of what counts as the appropriate expression of respect for persons” alters over time. Here Eldridge’s Kant turns squishy. Philosophers reading Kant are inclined to focus on the systematic character of his thinking and his concern for abstract

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In the Footsteps of Ghassan Kanafani, on His Birthday

Kanafani spent his last decade based in Lebanon, working as a journalist, editor, and a leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). This short essay first   appeared on Bookwitty. Iraqi-Israeli novelist Sami Michael’s 2005 Hebrew novel Doves in Trafalgar was a response to Kanafani’s Returning to Haifa. In 1977, Israeli

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Elif Batuman “The Idiot”; Donika Kelly “Bestiary”; Honoring Robert Silvers

Elif explains the book’s unique genesis: she wrote it shortly after graduating, found it in a drawer many years later, and reworked it into its current form. Also, Melissa Febos, author of Abandon Me, returns to recommend a book of poetry, Donika Kelly’s Bestiary. LARB contributor Jon Wiener spoke to Silvers in 2013. Many Elifs

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Notes of Actuality: A New Anthology Documenting the Films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet

The specifics of each case lead to more general questions: Why am I bound by someone else’s laws? Sometimes the two are the main actors, but more often they are bystanders. Shafto includes a 1966 prospectus for The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968), in which Straub takes pains to distinguish their approach from that

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