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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Sontag: Her Life by Benjamin Moser review heavyweight study of a critical colossus

Susan Sontags rise from gawky swot to opinion leader is incisively charted Art, Susan Sontag declared in 1965, is the supreme game which the will plays with itself. Sontag, supremely wilful, played the game with herself: she began as a critic of art, but turned into what she called an art object endowed with this quality of assurance, authority that she viewed as the barbed, bristling armature of style. At first, what mattered was the sparky contents of Sontags head; by the end she was best known for the way…

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Crime writer thinks women store credit cards inside their vaginas

Some men seem to have real trouble with cis womens anatomy. Men Writing Women, a Twitter account that catalogs the bizarre things men think women and their bodies do, has found another entry for that hall of fame. This one is by author Stuart Woods, who wrote in his 2018 book Desperate Measures the following sentence: The girl had a tiny purse tucked into her vagina, just big enough to hold her drivers license, a credit card, and a few bucks. We dont get real pockets in pants because we…

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Yogi Berra’s baseball bat and a $17,500 typewriter: a visit to the auction of Philip Roth’s estate

The great American novelist died last year and a huge stash of personal effects went on sale last week. J Oliver Conroy went along About 10 years ago, Philip Roth asked his friend Russ Murdock the longtime caretaker of Roths rural Connecticut home and, as he got older, of Roth himself to carve his headstone. Roth told Murdock, a stonemason, to model it on Albert Camuss: just names and dates, in simple block letters, etched into a stone Murdock later dug up on the property. Then, last spring, Roth, who…

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Cats trailers weirdness would have appealed to TS Eliot, suggests estate

Trustees of the poets legacy, welcoming the forthcoming film, say it is no stranger than his Old Possums Book of Practical Cats Although the trailer for the film adaptation of Cats divided the internet when it was released last week, TS Eliot would likely have approved of the rich strangeness that has disturbed so many, according to his estate. Thomas Stearns Eliot wrote the poems that form Old Possums Book of Practical Cats, on which both Andrew Lloyd Webbers stage musical and Tom Hoopers forthcoming film are based, in the…

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Kendall Jenners Dark Post-Breakup Read and the Art of Celebrity Performative Book-Holding

Is literacy the new tiny sunglasses? This week, the Daily Mail published a her split from basketball player Ben Simmons. But the shots, specifically of Jenner and Sabbats reading material, are the best evidence we have of a Kardashians rich interior life since Kylie Jenner started realizing stuff. Rather than stuffing her Cannes suitcase with Pepsi cans and tabloids, Jenner packed herself a copy of Darcie Wilders literally show me a healthy person. Next to her Sabbat, a 21-year-old described literally show me a healthy person as 97 pages of…

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The Wizard of Oz at 80: how the world fell under its dark spell

The 1939 classic has inspired everyone from David Lynch to Salman Rushdie. Novelist and super-fan Luiza Sauma explores why the films message about home still holds such power Eighty years ago, in the summer of 1939, 16-year-old Judy Garland appeared on cinema screens as the orphan Dorothy Gale, dreaming of escape from bleak, monochrome Kansas. Find yourself a place where you wont get into any trouble, her aunt beseeches, too busy for poor old Dorothy, who soon breaks into song: Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue / And the…

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Romance novelists pledge to confront abortion ‘taboo’ after Alabama ban

State senates near-total abortion ban prompts demand for genre to treat issue as a normal part of life, not a moral lesson Dip into the fast-moving world of romantic fiction and it quickly becomes clear that very few of the fictional couples Alabamas state senate passed a near-total ban on abortion, writers are asking themselves why none of these heroines ever considers termination. According to the Guttmacher Institute, an organisation promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, its a common experience for women in the US, with an abortion by…

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Trust Exercise by Susan Choi review masterly study of power and its abuses

The Pulitzer-nominated novelist develops the issues raised by #MeToo within the setting of a suburban American drama school Sarah and David, 15-year-olds at an elite and unconventional drama school in 1980s suburban America, fall in love. An early misunderstanding is manipulated by a charismatic teacher, Mr Kingsley, who sets a series of emotionally exposing improvisations known as trust exercises to confuse and divide them, using adolescent emotion as the raw material of his art. Then visiting teacher Martin arrives from England: he seduces Sarahs best friend Karen with a callousness…

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Top 10 end-of-the-world novels

Fresh from writing his own first sci fi thriller, physicist and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili chooses favourite books that tackle the Earth in peril Having written a books, I decided three years ago to try my hand at fiction. How hard could it be, I reasoned arrogantly. Well, harder than I thought. But I enjoyed writing Margaret Atwoods In Sunfall, science is trying to save the world. So, here are my top 10 end-of-the-world science fiction books: 1. line on climate change, I cannot but admire the man who gave us…

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