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Apr 22
11
Dancing Through Our Bad Year

It was a warm July day when Frau Troffea began to dance. She walked out of her home, into the narrow streets of Strasbourg, and began her frenzied steps. She danced uninterrupted for nearly a week, her feet swollen and bleeding. By the time she had tired of dancing, 34 of her neighbors had joined her; by the end of

Apr 17
1
Let's Take a Stroll Through the Past With Fiona Apple

Is your voice raw from gutturally screaming along to Fiona Apple’s latest release, Fetch the Bolt Cutters? I’m not there quite yet, but I am working as fast as I can. There’s only so much weed I can smoke during the workweek, you know! But in the absence of Apple’s favorite controlled substance, I’ve been looking at

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Apr 15
1
Imagining Disaster
Katie Da Cunha Lewin
1

“Everyone I know is trying to sleep less,” says the narrator of Jenny Offill’s new book Weather. “Insomnia as a badge of honor. Proof that you are paying attention.” Attention is at the heart of Offill’s latest novel composed of fragmented, epigrammatic writing, but it is often presented in a conflicted, anxious form.

Apr 10
1
Rebel Without the Clothes
Catherine Nichols
1

The front cover of Benjamin Moser’s new biography of Susan Sontag doesn’t have any words on it, just a photograph of Sontag, wearing a leather jacket. The jacket was as legible when the photo was taken as it is now: this is an image of a renegade. Sontag’s not wearing tweed or corduroy; she’s not that kind of

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Apr 6
1
The Queen's Speech and the World War II Metaphor

With the coronavirus crisis worsening in the UK and around the world, Queen Elizabeth II took the rare step on Sunday of issuing a special address to the nation—one of just a few she’s done outside of her annual Christmas Day speech. Unsurprisingly, she turned to the metaphor that has dominated in recent days, as the

Apr 3
1
The Queer, Latinx Desire of <i>Fiebre Tropical</i>
Ellen Jones
1

In the opening chapters of Juliana Delgado Lopera’s Fiebre Tropical, 15-year-old Francisca has just moved from Colombia to Miami, where she lives in an ugly townhouse with her mother, sister, and grandmother. She likes smoking and reading Sylvia Plath, whose suffocating sadness goes well with Francisca’s black

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Apr 2
2
What an Author Who Wrote About a Civilization-Threatening Illness Knows About Surviving a Pandemic

Life feels kind of like a Karen Thompson Walker novel right now—specifically, the author’s novel The Dreamers, in which a mysterious sleeping disease tears through a small California community. Quarantine life, makeshift hospitals, having to visit with sick family members through glass—elements of our global reality

Mar 26
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'A Hunger for Survival': Karla Cornejo Villavicencio On Her New Book <i>The Undocumented Americans</i>

Despite a seeming increase in fictionalized versions of undocumented Americans, the true and endlessly varied stories of contemporary undocumented Americans are still largely untold. Marginalized and criminalized by a country enamored to the point of smugness with its own “open arms” mythos, entire communities across

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Mar 23
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The Aspirational Fantasy of the Perfect Playroom

A handful of life-size miniature horse toys to ride. A sleek, tiny ball-pit and accompanying slide. A stage with karaoke microphones and enough instruments to support a professional band. These are just some of the toys in the white-walled Kardashian-West playroom, which Kim Kardashian recently posted on Instagram.

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