Headlines 

Suffrage review: epic retelling of US women’s long battle for the vote

A century after the 19th amendment, Ellen Carol DuBois makes the familiar new and sheds light on a fight against injustice It was a decidedly anticlimactic end to a life-changing campaign. The document was sent by train to Washington in the middle of the night. A government employee met the train and rushed it to the secretary of state, Bainbridge Colby, who signed the Proclamation of Ratification at dawn, three days after Tennessee became the 36th state to vote for womens suffrage. There were no photographers to record the moment,…

Read More
Headlines 

Trump reportedly calls John Bolton a ‘traitor’ and wants to block his book

President reportedly told aides and media figures book shouldnt be published before Novembers election John Bolton is a traitor and his reportedly told aides and media figures. The presidents views on news of a book deal for fired in September last year. He offered to testify in the Senate but Republicans voted not to call witnesses during a trial which duly ended in Trumps acquittal, despite leaks from Boltons book manuscript seeming to show The Room Where It Happened was slated for publication in March but it has been held…

Read More
Headlines 

Real censorship: Roxane Gay responds to American Dirt death threat row

The author argues the debate around Jeanine Cummins controversial novel shows how people are threatened for daring to have opinions As writers and critics reveal the death threats theyve received in the wake of the uproar surrounding Jeanine Cummins novel, American Dirt, the cancellation of Cummins tour for her controversial novel American Dirt, over concerns for her safety. The novel has been widely criticised for its stereotypical portrayals of Mexico and Mexicans, with tweeted Stephen King, an early fan of American Dirt, in response. But the had admitted the author…

Read More
Headlines 

Beyond American Dirt: the best books to understand Latinx culture

Mexican ghosts, a Splanglish coming of age saga, and trauma on the US border Myriam Gurba picks books exploring the Latinx experience I believe the publishing industry made a profound mistake publishing Jeanine Cumminss wannabe narco-novel Juan Rulfos Pedro Pramo is often hailed as the great Mexican novel. TheHouse of Broken Angels, evokes Rulfo in both style and content, even down to the opening line: Big Angel was late to his own mothers funeral. Urreas prose style is pure chingn: confident, sleek and funny. Like Pedro Pramo, House of Broken…

Read More
Headlines 

Moral of the story: 2019’s boldest culture asked what it means to be good

At a time when deceit is trumping decency, artists from Kanye West to Greta Gerwig and Phoebe Waller-Bridge have taken it upon themselves to pose questions about virtue and privilege In Little Women, a haughty publisher dismisses Jo Marchs stories as unfashionable. Morals dont sell nowadays, he tells the aspiring author. People want to be amused, not preached at. Hopefully the statute of limitations has expired on spoiling a 151-year-old story: March an avatar for her creator, Louisa May Alcott proves him wrong. As has Gerwig, reviving Little Women in…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Can America ever rebuild its neighborhoods and communities?

We talk a lot about startup ecosystems around these parts, and for good reason. Strong ecosystems have great reservoirs of talent congregated close together, a culture built around helping one another on ambitious projects, and sufficient risk capital to ensure that interesting projects have the resources to get underway. Strip off the ecosystem layer though, and you are left with the actual, physical manifestation of a city or region — its housing, its transportation and mobility options, and its infrastructure. And if Charles Marohn’s Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Chicago Neighborhood Gets Yellow Brick Road Where Author Wrote Wizard of Oz

Bickerdike A yellow brick road was recently completed in Chicago’s Humboldt Park Neighborhood in memory of L. Frank Baum, who wrote “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, while living at 1667 N. Humboldt Boulevard in 1899. The yellow brick road at the corner of Humboldt and Wabansia spans about 70 linear feet and will also include a 5 x 11 ft Oz-themed mural by Chicago artist, Hector Duarte. Bickerdike According to Block Club Chicago, the road and mural cost about $65,000 and was made possible by personal donations from nonprofit developer…

Read More
Headlines 

‘Your throat hurts. Your brain hurts’: the secret life of the audiobook star

As the business booms, narrators talk tricky accents, lonely shifts and tackling 100 pages a day The author Bill Bryson is sitting before a lectern in Audibles London headquarters, narrating his latest book, a disquisition on human biology called The Body: A Guide For Occupants. Seen through the window of the recording booth, Brysons face is largely obscured by the microphone in front of him, but his voice is clear and measured. On the other side of the glass, Brysons producer follows the text on an iPad, adding cryptic marks…

Read More
Headlines 

‘Our friendship was intimate on all levels’: Robyn Crawford on her love for Whitney Houston

The stars former assistant opens up about a 20-year relationship that weathered addiction, fame and secrecy The story told by Robyn Crawford in the pages of A Song For You, an account of her decades-long relationship with Dionne Warwick, was a veteran star; her mother, Eddie Murphy, and rap star Bobbi Kristina, died from a combination of drowning and drug intoxication at the age of 22; before she died, she spent months in a coma. Thats when I really tuned into Whitney, Crawford says. The tone of everything was negative…

Read More
Headlines 

This Is Pleasure by Mary Gaitskill review pitch perfect response to #MeToo

The American writers extraordinary novella tells the story of one mans fall from grace with real nerve Ostensibly, it seems quite shameless of Serpents Tail to have put Mary Gaitskills This Is Pleasure between hard covers. Her novella runs to a mere 84 tiny pages, each one printed in a typeface so large, the middle-aged will not even need to put on their glasses to read it; the story has, moreover, already Shitty Media Men (a list of allegations about various individuals in American publishing) that circulated on the internet…

Read More
Headlines 

A new India is emerging, and it is a country ruled by fear | Amit Chaudhuri

Modis vision for the country is one that stifles dissent and difference, says the author and academic Amit Chaudhuri Four months have passed since Narendra Modi and the BJP came back to power in India, and more seems to have happened there than in the last 40 years. The sense of suspension of civil liberties in the emergency of 1975 to 1977 and the political traumas that followed. This is because without the matter being explicitly articulated citizen has been set against citizen: not just Muslim against Hindu or, say,…

Read More
Headlines 

Face It by Debbie Harry review rock ‘n’ roll stories to burn

Taking heroin, being flashed by David Bowie, and punk-pop brilliance but in this long-awaited memoir the Blondie singer remains mysterious to the last When Blondies singer, Roger Vadim film, though her biggest influence was Marilyn Monroe, who she recognised was playing a character, the proverbial dumb blonde with the little-girl voice and the big-girl body a woman playing a mans idea of a woman. As the only woman in an all-male band, Harry knew she had to make her mark. With her peroxide hair, thrift-store clothes and expression that sat…

Read More
Headlines 

All hail Tina Fey: the funniest comic of the 21st century

From skewering Sarah Palin to handing us Liz Lemon on 30 Rock, here are 10 of the SNL legends most hilarious moments A nice girl with an anarchic bent and a tongue as sharp as a boning knife, Saturday Night Live), network comedy (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), while writing Jimmy Fallon, the goofy little brother to her sardonic big sister, then with The 2004 movie, which Fey blithely adapted into Alec Baldwins Jack Donaghy. For Fey at her neurotic, lemon-scented best, try the second-season episode Sandwich Day, which shows her…

Read More
Headlines 

After Caroline Calloway: should ghostwriters speak out against their subjects?

Natalie Beachs tell-all about the controversial influencer wasnt the first case of a ghost exposing their subject, following Julian Assange and Donald Trump Thirty years after ghostwriting Donald Trumps The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz described the experience as like putting lipstick on a pig. He felt a deep sense of remorse at helping bring the man who would become president gain wider attention. Andrew OHagan famously detailed the extraordinary essay in influencer Caroline Calloway: from Instagram captions to the aborted book that once attracted a $375,000 (300,000) publishing…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

The Goldfinch Movie Lays a Big Egg in Toronto

The first thing you have to know about Donna Tartts heartfelt novel, and for that reason it will forever fall into the camp of Bad Book-to-Movie Adaptations, the ones that are such a cumbersome disaster that they make book lovers seethe. The second thing you need to know is that it is impeccably shot by the great Roger Deakins, whos so talented he could make a storage unit into a place of beauty (which he does here!). And so, as the movie drifts along to a rote script that reproduces…

Read More