Helena Fitzgerald

  • culture February 28, 2019

    Mother Winter by Sophia Shalmiyev

    Partway through Sophia Shalmiyev’s new memoir, Mother Winter, the author returns to Russia in an attempt to find her mother, a woman who has been absent most of her life. Shalmiyev imagines that the journey will be beautiful: “I would book the trip during the famous white nights in June, when the bridges part over the canals and it is dusk at four in the morning, the city actually not being able to sleep so people become possessed; they make out on every corner and leave their spouses for anyone who winks at them. I wanted my three-note, sleepy, leveled and depressed but loyal boyfriend to wake

  • Lose Your Illusions

    Heather Havrilesky began her writing career in the early days of the internet, first as a columnist at Suck.com and then as a television critic for Salon.com. She has since built an extensive body of work examining American culture’s most insidious messages, perhaps most famously in her popular advice column, “Ask Polly,” in which she helps readers navigate alienation in an era of seemingly endless choice, the false narratives of American success, and the hard work of sustaining meaningful human connection. In her new essay collection, What If This Were Enough? (Doubleday, $26), Havrilesky

  • Songs of Inexperience

    Zines are pretty much over; you can tell because people are nostalgic for them. In Jessica Hopper’s new book, Night Moves, a memoir of her younger years in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, she describes a trip to Kinko’s to Xerox early issues of her zine, Hit It or Quit It, for reissue:

    On the way home, I stopped and picked up the Reader with my first piece in it. I was carrying these two stacks into the house when I realized they were the exact bookends of my writing life. The little fanzine I brought to the Uptown Kinkos in Minneapolis in 1991, because