Reviews & Essays

The Only Thing Worth Fighting For

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

The Only Thing Worth Fighting For

August in the life of Greil Marcus: French theater goes punk, Johnny Rotten grows up, and a killer soundtrack redeems "True Detective".
The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion

lives

The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion

One of the most influential writers of our time receives her own sweeping 672 page history. Does it capture her as well as she captured herself? Review by Tom Carson.
Working Class Heroes: 10 Great Books for the 99%

BEYOND CATEGORY

Working Class Heroes: 10 Great Books for the 99%

Inspired by a posthumous story collection from Lucia Berlin: a list of excellent stories starring proletarians too rarely given voice in industrial life.
Traveling through Cooking: 3 Tastes of Korea, Peru, and Lebanon

FOOD

Traveling through Cooking: 3 Tastes of Korea, Peru, and Lebanon

Seeking a last minute summer vacation? Look no further than a trio of new cookbooks from three internationally imaginative authors, reviewed by Brooklyn chef Greg Lauro.
Playing Scared: A History and Memoir of Stage Fright

HUMAN NATURE

Playing Scared: A History and Memoir of Stage Fright

A prodigious pianist walked away from her exceptional career: her autobiography serves as both a study a common illness and her pursuit of a personal cure. Review by Barbara Spindel....
The Captive Condition

FICTION

The Captive Condition

A campus horror story with shades of H.P. Lovecraft offers unexpectedly great beach reading: "chilling enough to keep you cool, deranged and unpredictable enough to keep you entertained."
Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim

lives

Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim

A life of the world's most famous pimp reveals surprising humanity behind the legend, and a pointed look at "the forces that brought certain industries to the ghetto." Review by Peter Lewis...
Counternarratives

SHORT STORIES

Counternarratives

A unique writer - able to find the poetry in world history - delivers a collection of stories spanning generations and nations, each set amongst enslaved peoples. Review by Christopher Byrd
The Women of “Go Set a Watchman”: Why Gender, Not Race, Is the Story

FICTION

The Women of “Go Set a Watchman”: Why Gender, Not Race, Is the Story

"Now that the brouhaha from the publication of 'Go Set a Watchman' has quieted", Lizzie Skurnick digs into the prose and finds Scout Finch's burgeoning womanhood at the heart of the story.
Give Us the Ballot

POLITICS

Give Us the Ballot

"Fifty years ago this week Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act, one of the landmark statutes of the twentieth century. Yet the right to vote remains precarious." Michael O'Donnell reads...
Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship that Shaped the Sixties

cultural history

Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship that Shaped the Sixties

When the conservative met the controversial, the result was the "Debate of the Year" - and surprising correspondence that lasted for decades. Review by Barbara Spindel.
Breath, Eyes, Memory

REDISCOVERY

Breath, Eyes, Memory

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers, Casey Rocheteau revisits an early selection: Edwidge Danticat's electrifying debut.