“The gates of hell aren’t somewhere far beneath us. They’re right here on earth.” This is the uncompromising perspective of Ma Jian’s hallucinatory new novel, The Dark Road the bleak tone will come as no surprise to those familiar with his earlier work. The word rebel is bandied around fairly
There are only two truly revealing sentences in Zev Chafets’s new biography of Roger Ailes, the founder of Fox News and message minder for a host of Republican presidents. They serve as bookends of sorts. The first, in the preface, informs us that the project at hand will be superannuated: “He
Flipping through the imposing art book that accompanies the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s spring exhibition, which explores punk rock’s influence on fashion, is like hearing your favorite Screamers song played in a mall. First, you feel bad—it’s more proof that everything
At a recent conference on media reform, I found myself talking to a professional activist and technologist. He told me about some online images—customized for sharing on Facebook—that civilians in Syria had circulated to protest Bashar al-Assad’s violent crackdown on dissent in their country.
When the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments over the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act this past February, pundits and reporters used an all-but-obligatory set of phrases to describe the legislation. They characterized the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as a “landmark” and
By the time he had published his second story in 1942, J.F. Powers was behind bars, sentenced to three years after failing to appear for induction into the army. He would go on to be recognized as one of the finest novelists of his generation. If he didn't write as much as he wanted to, that is perhaps because he so thoroughly explored in life the two great subjects of his work: folly and faith.
Why do they hate us? Why do they love us? Why do they love us and then hate us? Why do they hate us and then love us? (OK, a little wishful thinking.) No, not the terrorists; I’m talking about all those damn foreigners writing books about America. It’s been an international obsession since
Once in a while a book appears that’s so bad you want it to be a satire. If you set out to produce a parody of postfeminist mumbo jumbo, adolescent narcissism, excruciating erotic overshares, pseudopoetry, pretentious academic jargon, and shopworn and unshocking “dirty talk,” you could not
In 1952, six years after publishing its first book, Farrar, Straus & Company nearly failed. Founded by Guggenheim heir Roger Straus with $360,000 from his family and friends’ interests in department stores, mining, and brewing (the former Rheingold Brewery in Brooklyn served as the warehouse for
One day not so long ago, Rebecca Solnit found herself with an apricot problem. Her mother was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and about a hundred pounds of the fruit had been harvested from a tree in the yard of the home where her mother could no longer live, then deposited—fragrant and