FORTY YEARS AGO, when the second wave of the American feminist movement was young, and its signature phrase, “the personal is political,” was electrifying, many of the movement’s radicals (this reviewer among them) went to war with the age-old conviction that marriage and motherhood were the
IT SEEMS, these days, that every professional thinker tackles the fraught subject of gentrification by claiming that the whole phenomenon may not actually exist. A January Slate headline declared that gentrification was a “myth.” The story, by John Buntin, walked this claim back rather quickly,
In A Legacy, first published in 1956, Sybille Bedford writes about a Germany in the years before the First World War that had almost disappeared even as it seemed to be in full bloom. This world of privilege and entitlement and eccentricity is presented as normal and natural and at a stage of rich
It’s counterintuitive to think of the British Museum as a happening spot, but for a long time its reading room served as a premier gathering place for London’s brainy bohemians. In the 1880s, these included radicals like George Bernard Shaw, Henry Havelock Ellis, and Eleanor Marx, Karl Marx’s
It’s always pleasing when a strange and distinctive novelist comes outfitted with a name that she might have invented for one of her strange and distinctive characters, and still more pleasing when the actual facts of her personal history seem to have sprung directly from the cortical folds of her
When crack cocaine enters a story, we usually brace ourselves for a downfall. The tales of those who have fallen prey to the drug are so familiar that they have taught even nonusers to consider themselves experts. Many speak knowingly of the crack addict—gaunt, unkempt, willing to do anything for
In 2010, when houses and jobs and retirement accounts were vanishing in a vapor of financial abstraction, Matthew B. Crawford’s Shop Class as Soulcraft, a book about the pleasures of skilled manual labor, seemed more epochal than he’d probably anticipated. It pled a straight and lucid case: In our
The piney backwoods of East Texas might be the unlikeliest place on earth to produce a writer like William Goyen. He escaped via the navy, and he might have easily become an artist who left home and never looked back. Instead, that "bewitched" landscape loomed large. "All serious art celebrates mystery, perhaps," Joyce Carol Oates once wrote, "but Goyen's comes close to embodying it."
I'm Very Into You does nothing so routine as "revive" Kathy Acker's reputation. Rather, it makes a figure with whom we've grown familiar seem strange: It offers a new light in which we might read her work, and it brings to her new life.
The St. Louis County grand jury’s decision not to return an indictment of police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown was at once appalling and entirely predictable. Grand juries usually defer to the will of the prosecutors who marshal the cases on their dockets, and Bob