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Omnivore

American cities

City Planning 101: Why universities became big-time real estate developers. Welcome to an American city where the government barely exists. When New York City almost failed: Claire Potter interviews Kim Phillips-Fein, author of Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and The Rise of Austerity Politics (and more). Can cities make us better citizens? Justin McGuirk reviews Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City by Richard Sennett. Dense urbanism is great for downtowns, but what about suburbs?


Paper Trail

For PEN International’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer, Arundhati Roy has written a letter to photographer Shahidul Alam, who was arrested for criticizing the Bangladeshi government. “How is it possible for people to defend themselves against laws like these?” Roy writes of the charges. “It’s like having to prove one’s innocence before a panel of

Syllabi

Outrageous Clarity: The Fictions of Amélie Nothomb

Charlotte ShaneWith Amélie Nothomb’s latest, Strike Your Heart, the Francophone author of twenty-five books seems to have finally found some of the American attention she deserves. (I’m basing this assessment in part

Daily Review

Seasonal Associate

Heike Geissler, the German novelist and translator, ran out of money in the winter of 2010 and took a temporary job at an Amazon warehouse in Leipzig to support her two children. As she tells us in the opening pages of her book about that experience, she was not intending

Interviews

Sarah Schulman

Sarah Schulman is a native New Yorker, an activist, and, although I'm not sure she would apply the label to herself, a profound philosopher on social relations and blame, All of these streams flow into her recent novel Maggie Terry, a literary detective story about a former NYPD officer struggling with addiction, a tough case, and her ex-partner's theft of her daughter, In a compressed time frame of a few days, Maggie, fresh out of rehab, both loses and finds her place in the new New York.

Excerpt

Extralife

Jessica Hopper

Saturday was the Hold Steady video. It is a good thing not all one hundred people showed up because we had room for about thirty-three total. People later said they did not show because filming video is waiting around for twenty hours to act fake-excited in one-minute spurts.

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