LISA HALLIDAY’S DEBUT, Asymmetry, is not a mystery novel, at least not in the way that we typically think about that genre. But there is most certainly a mystery at the novel’s core, one that arises from the book’s structure — two seemingly unrelated novellas appended by a short coda — rather than its plot. […]
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TO ENTER THE WORLD of Lisa Russ Spaar’s Orexia is to enter a world of lush lyricism, where time is marked by the hands of a strange clock that reads “Mynddaeg Hour” and “Venus Hour” in place of noon or midnight. These baroque lyrics are knitted together with repeating series of poems, such as the […]
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“THE WAVE OF sexual misconduct allegations made against dozens of powerful men in recent weeks is causing lawyers to rethink how they handle such cases, including the longstanding use of confidentiality agreements.” Daniel Wiessner, “US lawyers reconsider confidentiality agreements in sexual harassment claims,” The Christian Science Monitor, December 19, 2017. “Wendy Netter Epstein, associate professor […]
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The following is an excerpt from Martin Goodman’s A History of Judaism, published this month by Princeton University Press. ¤ THE DESTRUCTION OF Jerusalem by Roman troops in 70 CE demanded a religious explanation. If God, the supreme ruler of the universe, had allowed such a disaster to be visited on his people, it must […]
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THROUGHOUT THE EXASPERATING TRADITION begun by Maurice (1987) and continued with Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Moonlight (2016), the mainstream gay-themed movie (or MGM) has pursued three consistent objectives. First, to elicit sympathy for gay male love in its struggle to affirm itself under the barbaric repressions of the closet. Second, to limit the visibility of […]
IN THE UNITED STATES, where we average seven mass shootings a week, gun control advocates often look to countries like Great Britain as examples of gun-free societies. Following several massacres involving lawfully licensed weapons in the late 1990s, Britain strengthened its gun control laws to be among the tightest in the world. It worked: since […]
IN FEBRUARY 2012, Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Black teenager, was shot and killed while walking in a Florida gated community by George Zimmerman, a white-presenting man who felt threatened by Trayvon’s mere presence. Only because protests broke out across the country was Zimmerman charged with second-degree murder. On July 13, 2013, a jury acquitted him. […]
FLORIDA IS WEIRD (or so they say). Since 2000, Florida has reliably provided a host of images and events that stand in for the current tensions and dysfunctions in US cultural and political life: a viral photo showing a federal agent holding a terrified Elián González at gunpoint, the 2000 election debacle and popularization of […]
1. YOU PLAY THE GIRL: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages, Carina Chocano’s memoir/pop culture takedown of the way women are characterized by the media, was released on August 8, 2017. It was the time before #MeToo, when sexual assault and misconduct was a well-kept open secret, when powerful men […]
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LONG AFTER THE last Uber delivered the final, fatigued MLA conference-goer to their flight or train or doorstep, long after the echoes of passionate speeches emanating from the liberal-radical spectrum — from the ACLU’s Anthony Romero to newly elected second vice president Judith Butler to legendary activist Angela Davis — faded from memory, the shadow […]
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