Tag: Books and Literature

Will the Era of Butts Ever End?

From the title of Heather Radke’s new book “Butts: A Backstory,” and its cover image of a ripe, callipygian peach, one might expect a book of provocative photos, or perhaps a chronicle of a personal fetish. But “Butts” is in fact a carefully researched and reported work of cultural history. The blunt word choice for […]

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Mike Pence Plays to the G.O.P. Base From a Times Stage

NEW YORK — Former Vice President Mike Pence leaned into Republican talking points on Wednesday about Elon Musk and Disney while walking a familiar fine line on his former boss, delivering a message seemingly geared toward conservatives who will decide whether he is a viable presidential contender in 2024. Appearing at The Times’s DealBook Summit […]

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John le Carré’s Letters Show the Author at His Witty, Erudite and Pugilistic Best

There is warm correspondence with the actors Alec Guinness and Gary Oldman, who played his uber-spy George Smiley in different films. There’s a thoughtful, encouraging letter to the actor Stephen Fry after a distressing incident in which Fry dramatically abandoned the West End production he was starring in and fled. (He later said he was […]

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The Search for Beauty in a Prison Cell

To choose the books, I thought back to nights I spent in a cell mesmerized by Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” or troubled by Toni Morrison’s “Paradise” or how “The Black Poets” turned me into a poet. I talked to dozens of others and listened to their memories of the books that […]

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How Ralph Ellison’s World Became Visible

Judging the photographs of an artist who is not primarily a photographer raises a prickly question. Are you assessing the photos on their own merits or examining them to better understand the artist’s main work? With an artist like Degas, his photos can be regarded as preparatory sketches for paintings. But what happens when the […]

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Bringing Down Harvey Weinstein

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | How to Listen For the next few months, we’re sharing some of our favorite conversations from the podcast’s archives. This week’s segments first appeared in 2019 and 2020, respectively. In their best-selling book “She Said” — the basis for the Maria Schrader-directed film of the same title, […]

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We’re Reading Michael Cunningham’s ‘Specimen Days’ With the Author

The next (and last) book in our 2022 series is “Specimen Days” (2005) by Michael Cunningham. Told in three parts, it begins with the story of Lucas, a 12-year-old boy who’s prone to reciting Walt Whitman and who, after taking up work at the same factory machine that killed his older brother, comes to believe […]

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In New Book, Pence Reflects on Trump and Jan. 6

“‘How are you?’ he began. ‘How are Karen and Charlotte?’” Mr. Pence writes that he “replied tersely that we were fine” and told him that his wife and daughter had been at the Capitol on Jan. 6. “He responded with a hint of regret,” Mr. Pence recounts. “‘I just learned that.’ He then asked, ‘Were […]

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Claire Keegan Harnesses the Power in Brevity

Keegan says her work is often described as pared down, when in fact, she writes stories as they come to her, without giving a thought to length. “What pleases me,” Keegan said, “is brevity.” Stories often begin as a single image that gets lodged in her head. “Foster,” for example, grew out of an image […]

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‘Design Mom’ Gabrielle Blair Pivots to Politics

“I’m much more likely to get people that don’t agree with me politically to listen to me if they think we’re on the same ‘team,’” Ms. Blair said. Though she is openly in favor of abortion rights and considers herself to have become more liberal since starting her blog, Ms. Blair deliberately played on assumptions […]

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For ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble,’ Claire Danes and Jesse Eisenberg Say I Do

Marriage, the actress Claire Danes insisted, means sacrificing certain freedoms. “That’s one of the great gifts of it,” she said. “But sometimes that shoe feels a little snug. There are moments when you’re like, ‘Actually, I would go in a different direction here.’” “For me, I’m just so happy to have a shoe on,” said […]

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Book Review: ‘Shuna’s Journey,’ by Hayao Miyazaki

SHUNA’S JOURNEY, by Hayao Miyazaki “Shuna’s Journey” is an eerie and enchanting book, a voyage into a delicately mythic realm of beauty and heartbreak. Here a traditional Tibetan folk tale about a search for fruitful seeds is interwoven with scenes of surpassing strangeness, ranging from an encounter with a vast ship made of rock — […]

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Book Review: ‘Mr. B,’ by Jennifer Homans

Homans’s book, as these details suggest, plays out in widescreen — as if it’s being projected, “Doctor Zhivago”-style, in 35-millimeter in one of those now-extinct, airplane hangar-size theaters in Midtown. There are two intermissions, in the form of generous photo inserts. For all its somber goodbyes, “Mr. B” (as his dancers called him) is light […]

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Steve Keene Made 300,000 Paintings in a Home Full of Easels

When the artist Steve Keene and his wife, Starling Keene, an architect, spent $140,000 on a dilapidated former auto body shop to live in, in Brooklyn in 1996, it was understood that he would use most of it for his studio space. His brightly painted works are typically not large, but they are numerous: Over […]

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Prince Harry’s Memoir Is Due in January. How Explosive Will It Be?

It seemed like a sure thing, or as close to a sure thing as is possible in book publishing: Prince Harry, who was living in self-imposed exile after his stormy exit from the British royal family, was writing a tell-all. After months of frenzied speculation, the book has a publication date: Jan. 10, 2023, according […]

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Madhur Jaffrey’s Undefinable Roles

“I haven’t given you anything particularly Indian today,” Ms. Jaffrey said, warming a chicken biryani in her kitchen in Hillsdale, New York, the small town upstate where she and her husband, the violinist Sanford Allen, live most of the year when not at their Manhattan apartment. They purchased the property, which is decorated with artwork […]

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The Sunday Read: ‘How Yiyun Li Became a Beacon for Readers in Mourning’

Yiyun Li has garnered legions of fans with her unsparing prose, writing extensively about her own struggles with depression and suicidality. Her latest novel, “The Book of Goose,” is no different, sharing the same quality that has made Ms. Li something of a beacon to those suffering beneath unbearable emotional weight. Alexandra Kleeman, also a […]

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The One Where Matthew Perry Writes an Addiction Memoir

“I would fake back injuries. I would fake migraine headaches. I had eight doctors going at the same time,” Perry said. “I would wake up and have to get 55 Vicodin that day, and figure out how to do it. When you’re a drug addict, it’s all math. I go to this place, and I […]

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Could Boris Johnson Make a Comeback as U.K. Prime Minister?

Under election rules laid out by the party on Thursday, candidates need 100 nominations from lawmakers to appear on the ballot next week. According to the informal tallies, neither Mr. Johnson nor Mr. Sunak is close yet, though in one spreadsheet, which includes unnamed supporters, Mr. Johnson is at 52. More on the Situation in […]

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A Good Faith Examination of Bad Faith

“The Rhetoric of Reaction” emerged in part from lectures and essays Hirschman gave and wrote during the mid-to-late 1980s. At the time, he saw the perversity thesis as the most common argument on the right and the imminent danger thesis as the most powerful on the left. Today, though, two others seem ubiquitous: the jeopardy […]

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Ralph Macchio Will Always Be ‘The Karate Kid.’ He’s Finally Fine With That.

Playing Daniel LaRusso in “The Karate Kid” made Ralph Macchio famous for life. For decades, people have been telling him where they were when they saw the 1984 popcorn flick or how its underdog story affected them. Such all-encompassing fame, however, came with a downside. As he tried to move on in his acting career, […]

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A Posthumous Memoir Reveals Paul Newman in His Own Words

Decades into his singularly successful career as an actor, Paul Newman offered a frank admission. “I am faced with the appalling fact that I don’t know anything,” he said. Newman was in his 60s when he made this confession, by which time he had starred in a lifetime’s worth of seminal films, including “Cat on […]

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Can Black Literature Escape the Representation Trap?

But the market’s recent call for more representation has produced troubling new tropes. In various forms, successful novels will center the encounter between a Black protagonist and a white social environment. In “Such a Fun Age” and “Luster,” a protagonist enters into white domestic space, unsettling the privileged lives of their white female counterparts. In […]

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Sex, Death, Family: Sharon Olds Is Still Shockingly Intimate

Olds’s artistic signature — what really makes Sharon Olds Sharon Olds — is a kind of aggressive intimacy: a willingness to write, with stunning lack of restraint or shame or embarrassment, about the most private aspects of human experience. She is our great translator of what she has called “all the eloquence of the body.” […]

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George Saunders on ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | How to Listen For the next few months, we’re sharing some of our favorite conversations from the podcast’s archives. This week’s segments first appeared in 2017 and 2019, respectively. The writer George Saunders has long been acclaimed for his short stories, which he has collected into five […]

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