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pop culture

1000 Serpentinen Angst

I highly recommend the debut novel by Olivia Wenzel.

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poetry

The Nickel Boys

“The white boys bruised differently than the black boys and called it the Ice Cream Factory because you came out with bruises of every color. The black boys called it the White House because that was its official name and it fit and didn’t need to be embellished. The White House delivered the law and […]

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“Trust Love All the Way”: Go See If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk, the Barry Jenkins movie based on the James Baldwin novel of the same name, is a fantastic, beautiful, political, loving movie. Trish Rivers and Fonny Hunt are a young Black couple in love and expecting a baby when Fonny is arrested for a rape he didn’t commit. Barry Jenkins and […]

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Zadie Smith’s Swing Time

I liked, but did not love this book. The book begins with failure. Or “my humiliation” as the narrator, a young woman, puts it. The young woman has been sent back to London by some unknown employer. She is hiding in considerable affluence and is tasked with avoiding the public, not to escalate a situation. […]

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Success as sole basis for respect can be ultimately dangerous. From Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann and the Holocaust. The thin volume includes the core of the Arendt’s reporting on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the bureaucracy of the Holocaust, and the banality of evil. Arendt’s perspective is certainly controversial, but this small volume is required reading in […]

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This is not simply a war language; this is an American language. In Sharif’s rendering, “Look” is at once a command to see and to grieve the people these words describe — and also a means of implicating the reader in the violence delivered upon those people. A Poet Subverts the Defense Department’s Official Dictionary […]

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of course i want to be successful but i don’t crave success for me i need to be successful to gain enough milk and honey to help those around me succeed From rupi kaur’s milk and honey.  Milk and honey is equally heart-wrenching and heartwarming. Some of it, especially the first part “the hurting,” is a […]

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“With her bare, alert senses she could almost hear violets grow and feel the robin’s heart beat. Like Emerson, she found in each drop of dew, in each grain of sand, a copy of a universe.”  Praise for Emily Dickinson by Nardi Reeder Campion in a 1973 essay for the New York Times titled “A Delayed […]

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Daughter: “Doing the Right Thing"  While sad, if not depressed in tone, the breadth and breath of life in this song is astounding. The narrator, while isolated, has a way of talking about the world and herself that reminds me of a Margret Atwood character. This song’s dynamic doesn’t just develop, it ages. “Doing the […]

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“The Gray Complexity that is the Real Dixie”

Errin Whack,in an article for NPR’s Code Switch blog, reviews Harper Lee’s new novel Go Set A Watchman and argues that it is a revelation on race, even if that is uncomfortable for many fans of To Kill A Mockingbird: Truths can be hard, and truths about race in this country are often the hardest – especially when the […]