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  • Jimmy Buffett Breezes Out of Palm Beach Mansion December 4, 2020
    Though he’s not as wealthy as his billionaire friend Warren, with whom he shares a surname though not DNA, Jimmy Buffett hasn’t done too poorly from epitomizing the lifestyle of an escapist beach bum — as best described by his still-in-rotation 1977 hit “Margaritaville.” With a business empire based largely on his Margaritaville Café restaurant […] […]
  • ‘Euphoria’ Lets Rue Catch Her Breath in Special Episode ‘Trouble Don’t Last Always’: TV Review December 4, 2020
    When I think of “Euphoria,” I think of neon lights, glitter smeared across bleary eyes, dizzying camera angles betraying the disoriented teenage mania that fuels it. I think of Rue (Zendaya) staring across a crowded room at Jules (Hunter Schaefer) with such palpable longing that it hurts. I think of the stunning last moments of […]
    Caroline Framke
  • The Weeknd Drops ‘Blinding Lights’ Remix, Featuring Rosalia December 4, 2020
    To celebrate the (slightly more than) one-year anniversary of its release, The Weeknd and superstar Spanish singer Rosalía have teamed up for a remix of “Blinding Lights,” Variety’s Hitmakers Record of the Year and one of the biggest hits in recent memory. Rosalía joined The Weeknd for the “Blinding Lights” remix while also recording the […] […]
    Jem Aswad
  • The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ Is Variety’s Hitmakers Record of the Year December 4, 2020
    The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” is indisputably one of the landmark songs of 2020 —and the only reason it isn’t even more dominant is because it was released on Nov. 29, 2019, and racked up significant numbers that year as well. Written by The Weeknd with Max Martin (the most successful songwriter-producer of the past 25 […]
    Jem Aswad
  • Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP, Global One Studios Set Bhopal Gas Tragedy Series Based on Dominique Lapierre and Javier Moro’s Bestseller (EXCLUSIVE) December 4, 2020
    Veteran Indian producer Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP and Ramesh Krishnamoorthy’s Global One Studios will produce a series based on the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. The companies have optioned the audio-visual rights to eminent authors’ Dominique Lapierre and Javier Moro’s 2001 book, “Five Past Midnight in Bhopal: The Epic Story of the World’s Deadliest Industrial Dis […]
    Naman Ramachandran
  • ABC News Head James Goldston on Layoffs: ‘Necessary as We Adapt to Changes in Our Business’ December 4, 2020
    ABC News is laying off staffers amid a broader reorganization at parent company Walt Disney, one that impacts a low single-digit percentage of the news division’s 1,400 staffers, according to a source familiar with the situation. In a memo to employees sent Thursday evening, ABC News president James Goldston said that the personnel reductions were […] […]
    Elaine Low
  • Paris Jackson on Her Indie-Folk Debut Album, ‘Wilted’: ‘It Just Makes My Heart So Full’ December 4, 2020
    The last time most of us saw Paris Jackson, she was 11 years old and crying. Taking the stage at Staples Center in June 2009 at her father’s star-studded memorial service, her famous aunts and uncles told her to speak up as she nervously said: “Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best […]
  • Shawn Mendes Aims High (Sometimes Too High) With ‘Wonder’: Album Review December 4, 2020
    Since Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes first rose to fame as a 14-year-old with a series of covers on Twitter’s Vine app — for those who don’t remember, it was the six-second predecessor to TikTok — he and his team have worked doggedly to position him as a career artist, focused on longevity and maturity rather […]
    Jem Aswad
  • Variety’s Hitmakers Program: Watch the Full Event Featuring Harry Styles, J Balvin and More December 4, 2020
    At the end of a year that was far from ordinary, Variety‘s Hitmakers program brought together some of music’s biggest stars to virtually celebrate their accomplishments. Harry Styles was named Hitmaker of the Year, and was presented the award by comedian Nick Kroll, who co-stars with him in the upcoming film “Don’t Worry Darling.” “I […]
    Ellise Shafer
  • Riz Ahmed and ASL Coach Jeremy Lee Stone on ‘Sound of Metal’s’ Labor of Love December 4, 2020
    In “Sound of Metal,” Riz Ahmed plays Ruben, a heavy metal musician who gradually loses his hearing. The film, bowing Friday on Amazon Prime, follows Ruben as he copes with his hearing loss. Director Darius Marder relies on sound design to immerse the audience into the film, allowing them to understand what Ruben is going […]

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  • Strengthening East Coast storm likely to unload heavy snow, rain December 3, 2020
    After winter’s quick visit left areas around the Great Lakes and interior Northeast buried under heavy snow at the beginning of December, another winter storm is already setting up to take aim at the region for the first weekend of the month — and it could potentially evolve into the season’s first nor’easter. “It looks...
  • Southern California faces extreme fire danger as Santa Ana winds roar December 3, 2020
    Forecasters described the fire danger taking aim at Southern California as “extremely critical” Thursday afternoon, and power crews were faced with decisions on whether to risk leaving the electricity on in some communities. “Strong winds and low humidity are combining for a long-duration of critical fire danger,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave H […]
  • Another round of cold air to blast south-central US December 2, 2020
    States in the South Central region are in for another blast of unseasonably cold conditions behind the biggest snowstorm yet this season. The region was dealt a taste of winter’s chill at the end of November and beginning of December, with temperatures dipping to their lowest levels since February and March in places such as...
  • 2 missing after 'atmospheric river' triggers major landslide in Alaska December 3, 2020
    One Alaskan town was covered in 9 feet of mud and debris after record rainfall triggered landslides, wiped out roadways and prompted evacuations during the middle of the week. The community of Haines, located about 92 miles north of Juneau, Alaska, was nearly cut off from surrounding areas as the highway connecting the city to...
  • Strong storms poised to slam southeastern Australia this weekend December 3, 2020
    After a period of relatively little rainfall across southeastern Australia, strong thunderstorms can make a return over the weekend.  An intense area of low pressure passing to the south of Tasmania will pull a cold front through South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, including the Australia Capital Territory, bringing showers and thunderstorms to th […]
  • Thousands evacuate as Burevi moves across Sri Lanka, southern India November 30, 2020
    A week after deadly Cyclone Nivar wreaked havoc on southern India, Cyclonic Storm Burevi is wreaking havoc in Sri Lanka and taking aim at southern India. On Monday morning, local time, an area of low pressure in the southern Bay of Bengal developed into a tropical depression, according to India’s Meteorological Department. By Tuesday afternoon,...
  • 'Mischief and mayhem' brewing with potential for another big storm in East December 2, 2020
    The first day of meteorological winter, which began on Dec. 1, ushered in the first taste of the season to come with a major lake-effect snowstorm around the Great Lakes and in a few areas of Northeast, creating travel troubles and power outages. And forecasters are already eyeing the potential for yet another big storm...
  • Biggest lake-effect snowstorm in 2 years buries Cleveland area in foot of snow December 2, 2020
    The pancake-sized snowflakes may have stopped falling, but the lingering darkness from thousands of power outages remain in Ohio and Pennsylvania following meteorological winter's first snow dump of the season. Across parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia, the season's first lake-effect snowstorm unleashed over 20 inches of blanke […]
  • Far-reaching storm likely to bring rain, wind and snow to much of Europe December 3, 2020
    A stormy pattern that began in late November across Europe is expected to continue through early December. On the heels of a storm than drenched south-central Europe, a new storm is predicted to impact a large swath of the continent through the weekend. The storm will first impact northwestern Europe through Thursday night with bouts...
  • Rare December tropical storm could brew in Caribbean December 1, 2020
    Even though the Atlantic hurricane season has officially come to an end, additional tropical development is possible through the end of December. One disturbance over the Caribbean that is close to land could become the next Atlantic tropical depression or storm, according to AccuWeather meteorologists. The Atlantic hurricane season officially extends from J […]

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Top Book News provided by The New York Review of Books©

  • Aleksei Navalny, Ready to Run Again in Russia
    Though not yet restored to full health, Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny is recovering in Germany from the poisoning that almost killed him and is preparing to return to Russia to continue his fight for democracy. As he shared on Instagram last week, with a photo of himself in a tracksuit, he was about to […]
  • The Renewable Energy Rebels
    Lockport, New York—On a cold evening in November last year (when we still held such large gatherings), more than two hundred people crowded into a fire department meeting hall in rural Gasport, New York, to listen to a man named Charlie Fendt speak about the dangers of solar power. An emergency management consultant from Rochester, […]
  • The Mystery of the Missing Viola
    “Perhaps the mystery is a little too plain,” said Dupin.—Edgar Allan Poe, “The Purloined Letter” A couple of years ago, my wife discovered that some pieces of jewelry were missing from a box in her closet. They had belonged to her grandmother, and were a gift from her mother. My wife filed a police report. […]
  • On Race and Property in the South
    On November 19, 2020, we published Shirley Elizabeth Thompson’s “Georgia On My Mind,” the author’s reflection on her hometown of Atlanta—of growing up amid gentrification, white flight, integration, and other lingering effects of segregation—while she watched the state’s critical election returns. The Biden-Harris win in Georgia, along with those in Michigan and Pennsylvania, was crucial […]
  • ‘This Planet is Our Spaceship’: An Interview with Cauleen Smith
    In September, the Whitney reopened “Mutualities,” the first New York solo show of multidisciplinary artist Cauleen Smith, with the addition of five of her “In the Wake” banners from the museum’s collection. These works—colorful, blood-spattered fabric updates on medieval-style heraldry—were originally included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, and they now hang from the ceiling on […]
  • An Island at the Crossroads
    Okinawa, the largest island in a subtropical archipelago south of Japan known as the Ryukyus, is seventy miles long and seven miles wide. At its northern tip is Cape Hedo, where the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea converge. From the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries, the Ryukyu Kingdom was at the center of […]
  • A Well-Ventilated Conscience
    About halfway through the Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas by the Brazilian writer Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, the eponymous narrator complains, “the main problem with this book is you, the reader.” His style of narration, he suspects, has exasperated even those who have made it this far: You’re in a hurry to get old, […]
  • The Right to Belong
    If all the stateless people on earth were to form a nation, its population would exceed that of Sweden, Greece, Azerbaijan, or New York City—possibly by a large margin. Some 10 million people worldwide lack citizenship, according to the United Nations, which makes them exceptionally difficult to count. Those not recognized by any state tend […]
  • ‘The Splendour and the Sting’
    The name Charlotte Mew glimmers between fame and obscurity, and has now for over a century. She was born in 1869 in London and had exactly one book of poetry to her name when she died by her own hand in 1928. This book, The Farmer’s Bride (1916), sold moderately well and was critically acclaimed […]
  • A Noah’s Ark of Books
    For the past seventeen years, Reaktion Books has been publishing a series of volumes under the general rubric “Animal”—attractive duodecimos in uniform paperback editions, printed in color on heavy stock.1 There are ninety-eight of them so far, from Albatross to Zebra, by way of Bedbug, Leech, and Swan. I first came across the series in […]
  • The Body in Swooping Close-Up
    The half-stripped woman picked out against the dark in Artemisia Gentileschi’s Lucretia is viewed from above, yet as I stand before this yard-high canvas, she seems to bear down on me. Light, here, is weight: the gleam on shoulder, knee, breasts, arm, and neck presses on my eye and there is no distance from the […]
  • The Meaning of Home
    In March 2019 Bryan Washington published Lot, a book of short stories set in Houston that created, in brilliant, fragmentary form, the portrait of a person, of a family, and of a large and shifting community. Its Houston was not that of elite institutions and oil-and-gas affluence, but of immigrant communities from Mexico, the Caribbean, […]
  • The Plushbottoms of Teton County
    Every year around the holidays my wife and I used to watch a feature-length cartoon called Yogi’s First Christmas. We had recorded it on a video cassette from its original broadcast and we fast-forwarded through the commercials, which seemed to get dumber as they aged, though the cartoon itself held up pretty well. The cast […]
  • Europe’s Most Terrible Years
    On August 30, 1939, Franciszek Honiok, a Pole living in the village of Hohenlieben in what was then the German province of Silesia, was picked up off the street by the Gestapo. He was held in solitary confinement until the following day when he was taken to Gleiwitz, near the Polish border. That evening, on […]
  • The Oldest Forest
    In periods of collapse, we’re compelled to do things differently as old ways become untenable. We’ve entered the planetary-tantrum phase of climate change, and fossil fuels cannot be abandoned soon enough. Many people have sworn off disposable plastics and meat, but these are just the first and easiest abnegations: soon, even growing food in the […]
  • Korea’s Tireless Patriot and Revolutionary
    Not all liberations are complete. For the Korean peninsula, the end of World War II brought freedom from Japan’s colonial rule, but it also sliced the territory in two, a division made permanent by the subsequent Korean War. This was no Korean’s postcolonial dream: the North, under Soviet backing, went to Kim Il-sung, who’d gained […]
  • Winter Journey
    Well, it was just as I thought, the path all but obliterated— We had moved then from the first to the second stage, from the dream to the proposition. And look— here is the line between, resembling this line from which our words emerge: moonlight breaks through. Shadows on the snow cast by pine trees. […]
  • Ann Quin’s Stalled Talkers
    The novels of the English experimentalist Ann Quin are not like most: although she was loosely affiliated with a movement of pioneering British writers in the 1960s, among them B.S. Johnson and J.G. Ballard, she remains singular in her aversion to the usual strictures of structure. Her books careen wildly among verb tenses and perspectives. […]
  • Designing Women
    The daughter lives in a large stone house on an island off the coast of Brittany, but it wouldn’t be far-fetched to think of her as a princess in a tower. It’s the second half of the eighteenth century, before the Revolution. Her mother has commissioned a portrait of her, to be sent to a […]
  • What Matters in Music?
    Richard Taruskin must surely be our most ferociously adversarial writer on music. He has read everything, he argues with everyone, he sets out his views with rhetorical flair, and he has been at the forefront of some of the great musical controversies of our day. He took center stage in the debate around the early […]
  • Mouse in the Grocery
    There are no bacon strips this morning so a mouse ponders a pound of sugar. A mouse wants what a mouse wants, salt-cured pork instead of soluble carbs. A mouse is like a heart: it sleeps in winter; it knows uncertain love; it appears to have no gender. Now this mouse regards a woman sprinkling […]
  • Object Lessons
    At CalArts in the 1970s I once had a seminar with the poet and maverick art critic David Antin. The dean introduced him at the first class. “So David, we haven’t seen you in a while. What have you been up to?” Antin shot back, “Waiting for minimalism to die.” We’re still waiting. Has there […]
  • The Pleasure Crafts
    The Age of Sail meant long and lonely days for whalers and seamen, but it was not without its consolations. Out on the high seas, despite cramped and filthy conditions, rampant scurvy, omnipresent rats, and the threat of tar-and-feathering, a skilled sailor left to his own devices might have occasion to carve out a fine […]
  • Remembering Boulez
    To the Editors: As a surviving relic of the “dictature de Boulez” in my student days, I found Matthew Aucoin’s review of Pierre Boulez’s Music Lessons: The Collège de France Lectures [NYR, November 5] gratifying to read, coming as it does from one of the most respected of today’s composers. In 1959 the French musical […]
  • It’s Not Science Fiction
    The prolific science-fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson, who is at heart an optimist, opens his newest novel, The Ministry for the Future, with a long set piece as bleak as it is plausible. Somewhere in a small city on the Gangetic Plain in Uttar Pradesh during the summer of 2025, Frank, a young American working […]
  • In Uganda, Another Museveni Crackdown
    When the popular Ugandan singer and opposition politician Bobi Wine was arrested last week, his nation erupted. A huge crowd had gathered in Luuka, just east of the capital Kampala, to hear him speak, when security forces suddenly began firing not only tear gas canisters but also live bullets into the crowd and beating away […]
  • The Battle Over Scalia’s Legacy
    The three deeply conservative justices whom Donald Trump named to the Supreme Court—Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett—profess adherence to the judicial philosophy of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Their appointments all but ensure not only a conservative majority on the Court for years to come but also the transmutation of Scalia’s jurisprudence—based […]
  • Death on the Via Dolorosa
    On an unusually warm Saturday morning in late May, Eyad al-Hallaq stepped out of his family’s apartment in Wadi al-Joz, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, and walked quickly toward the Old City. It was 6 AM, and al-Hallaq, thirty-one years old and autistic, was excited to finally return to the Elwyn El Quds Special […]
  • An Awful and Beautiful Light
    A peculiar aspect of Joan Didion’s nonfiction is that a significant portion of it reads like fiction. Or, more specifically, it has the metaphorical power of great fiction. While younger generations may read her as a window into the mythic 1960s or September 11, it’s impossible not to see, too, how Didion’s examination of racial […]
  • The Powerful Reticence of Felix Gonzalez-Torres
    Often, these days, when I’m in a museum or gallery, I find the artwork on offer surrounded by large helpings of didactic wall text telling me how to see what I’m seeing. At the time of the 2019 Venice Biennale, for example, the Palazzo Grassi hosted a Luc Tuymans exhibition in which painting after painting […]
  • Holding the Fraudster-in-Chief to Account
    On November 20, 2020, we published “The Case for Prosecuting Trump” by former federal prosecutor Ankush Khardori. Without minimizing the political hurdles, Khardori makes persuasive arguments for why we must end “the absence of any accountability” for an administration that “has viewed itself as above the law.” Khardori left the Justice Department, where he investigated financial […]
  • The Case for Prosecuting Trump
    When Donald J. Trump leaves office, he will, like many con artists before him, leave behind a huge mess for others to clean up. The pandemic that his administration allowed to spread throughout the country poses a monumental public health challenge for the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris; there […]
  • What Did the Democrats Win?
    The minority repeatedly thwarting the will of the majority is intolerable and untenable.
  • Georgia On My Mind
    It’s 3:30 AM Friday after Election Day, and I keep nodding off in my phone’s harsh glare, my finger hovering over the refresh button. Screw Pennsylvania and Arizona. Same for Texas—my home of the last twenty years has already let me down with its perennial but ever-postponed promise of turning purple. Now, it’s all about […]
  • Can Liberals Win in a Conservative Court?
    President Trump is on his way out the door, even if he goes kicking and screaming. The Biden-Harris administration will have its hands full picking up the pieces. Trump has left the federal government a kind of environmental disaster area, desperately in need of a massive cleanup. No president in US history has done more […]
  • An Archaeology of Resistance
    The tale of Scheherazade is one of the cruelest stories about beauty and the vitality of artistic expression. It tells of the relationship between the artist and authority, suggesting that the creative act itself is an act of resistance; it conveys the message that there can be no authentic artistic act without personal risk. Although […]
  • On the Far Right and Policing in America
    On November 12, 2020, we published Ali Winston’s “New York’s Finest?”—a report on the New York Police Department’s brutal response to recent protests against police violence, the force’s widespread support for Trump’s reelection, public safety concerns amid the pandemic, and the continuing pursuit of police accountability. Winston’s first piece for us was about the far-right […]
  • The Presidential Transition Meets Murphy’s Law
    Trump’s absurd insistence that he “WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” is easy enough to ignore. What is harder to ignore is what his appointee who runs the General Services Administration (GSA) is doing. By statute, the GSA’s administrator has responsibility for ascertaining “the apparent successful candidates for the office of President and Vice President.” […]
  • New York’s Finest?
    As 2020’s chaotic presidential election was called last weekend, New York City erupted in a cacophony of joy at Donald Trump’s defeat. America’s largest city endured a grim nadir earlier in the year, with the Covid-19 pandemic killing tens of thousands of New Yorkers and crippling its tourism- and service industry–dependent economy. That damage came […]
  • Criminalizing a Constitutional Right
    National discussions of abortion—of any services that might end a pregnancy, make contraception available, or provide other means of regulating one’s capacity to bear children—usually focus on the Supreme Court. But for many Americans, Roe v. Wade might as well have been overturned already. Whether RBG or ACB, five conservative justices or six, many American […]
  • The Sense of an Ending
    The Silence is full of voices, a work of talky minimalism whose characters are all troubled by the absence of sound. Five of them, three men and two women: a string quintet, and with the youngest, a high school physics teacher, as a decidedly insistent cello. Noise, chatter, the smother of static, the wearing hum […]
  • The Dream of Pure Expression
    Although I have not visited the graveyard in the French town of Sète that is the subject of Paul Valéry’s extraordinary poem “Le Cimetière Marin” (“The Cemetery by the Sea”), I know of a counterpart at the opposite end of the Côte d’Azur, on the Italian border, in Menton. Both cemeteries perch above the Mediterranean, […]
  • Cartographers of Stone and Air
    The English writer and cartographer Tim Robinson, who died from Covid-19 in April at the age of eighty-five, dedicated more than forty years of his life to an intensive study of the region that many conceive as Ireland’s heart. Connemara is a small district on the country’s west coast, home to 32,000 people, mostly native […]
  • An Undisappearing Act
    There were three people at the funeral of Mary Ellen Meredith when she died at the age of forty, in 1861: two women servants and an acquaintance of her second husband, the poet and novelist George Meredith. No one else came. Not her father, the comic writer Thomas Love Peacock, then in his seventies, nor […]
  • In the Soup
    Each human culture has its own origin myths. The Telefol, a mountain people of New Guinea, relate that in the beginning there was a mother called Afek, who had four children: a long-beaked echidna (an egg-laying mammal), a ground cuscus (a cat-sized marsupial), a rat, and a human. The echidna’s eyes were irritated by hearth-smoke, […]
  • Making London Their Own
    In Britain, as in the rest of Europe and the US, the Black Lives Matter movement and the severe effects of Covid-19 on Black, Asian, and other ethnic communities have sharply awoken many of us to the nation’s historic institutional racism. A report by Public Health England published in June found that nonwhite Britons had […]
  • The Sirens
    First Saturday of the month and unlike the Greeks,sometime ancient cynics of beautyand warning, these sirens at least test the level of dog agony in town. Faint howls. Loud howls.Indifferent howls for the hell of it—surely mutt boredomin alley and yard, new octaves of ache, a high heaven’s blast though now it’s not just ordinary […]
  • They Were Hungarians
    To the Editors: Diarmaid MacCulloch’s review of John Anthony McGuckin’s history of the Eastern Orthodox Church [“The Vitality of Orthodoxy,” NYR, July 2] is a concise treasure trove of intriguing detail and insight, but it cries out for one small amplification. When explaining “the respectful attitude of Orthodoxy toward authority,” Professor MacCulloch appropriately points to […]
  • A Proper Burial
    To the Editors: In his review of Megan Rosenbloom’s Dark Archives [NYR, November 5], Mike Jay quotes me and summarizes my opinion about a book at the Houghton Library, Harvard, which is bound in human skin. Its owner, Dr. Ludovic Bouland, had skinned the body of an indigent female patient under his care, and turned […]
  • The Devil Had Nothing to Do With It
    There’s an old blues metaphor. You know, Robert Johnson found his sound at the crossroad when he made a deal with the devil. It seems to me that the country is at a crossroad, whether we are going to continue to invest and double down on the ugliness of our racist commitments, or [we’ll] finally […]
  • Getting Away With Murder
    Criminal law and its enforcement are notoriously hypocritical. It is bad enough that, as Anatole France wrote in 1894, “the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread.” But now, more than a century later, even the […]
  • Life, Death, and the Levys
    Salonica, the historic city on the Aegean Sea (now called Thessaloniki), was at the turn of the twentieth century probably as close to paradise as a European Jew was likely to get. The salon cultures of Berlin, Vienna, or Paris may have been more glittering, but there Jews sat uneasily on the edges of elite […]
  • ‘Something Resembling Normal Life’
    “Whenever I go to North Korea,” Immanuel Kim told an interviewer in 2017, “I see people reading.” In the metro, in elevators, in buses and restaurants. But what were they reading, in a state unrivaled in the harshness of its censorship? As a graduate student at the University of California at Riverside studying Korean literature, […]
  • Suffering, Unfaltering Manet
    During a visit to the eighty-five-year-old Claude Monet in the summer of 1926, Florence Gimpel, the wife of the Parisian art dealer René Gimpel, asked her host if he had known Édouard Manet. “Yes, he was a great friend, a great friend,” was the response. Monet told Gimpel that on April 29, 1883, he had […]
  • J.M.W. Turner, Radical Critic of the Anthropocene
    Who knew that the postmodern Armageddon would feel quite so peaceful? On a bright autumn morning, as the pandemic’s second wave rolls in, the streets of Westminster are quieter than on a Sunday dawn. Here, the British state and its offshoots—the public bodies, the think tanks, the charities—normally throng and hum. But the state and […]
  • The Power Brokers
    In the spring of 1870 Congress was in the process of debating the Indian Appropriations Bill. While the bill’s main purpose was to renew or enhance funding for Native peoples and communities, it contained a rider that finally formally ended what is known as the treaty period of federal Indian policy: no longer would Indian […]
  • Dudes Without Heirs
    Translations of Beowulf are often judged by their first word. “Hwæt,” that enigmatic monosyllable, became a stately “behold” or “lo” in older versions of the epic. Modern poets have used their choice here as a calling card, announcing their intentions with more or less boldness. They have transformed “hwæt” into a firm “listen,” a laid-back […]
  • Songs of Loss and Reinvention
    There are two stories that humans have, since the first civilizations, been telling ourselves about migration. One is about the curse of wandering, the loss of Paradise when expelled from one’s birthplace. The other recounts how, in order to create anything new, we must break away from our suffocating places of origin and set out […]
  • Bolivia’s Tarnished Savior
    Flying over the Andes in the dead of night, you know you’ve reached Bolivia because towns and villages become visible: neat crosshatches of light, every street illuminated. The terminal at El Alto International Airport may not have the best design or the most punctilious construction standards, but in the freezing predawn of this high plateau—the […]
  • How Trump Won
    With Donald Trump’s electoral loss, the great evasion begins. To put an era of horror and recrimination behind, and embrace a restoration of business as usual, is an inevitable temptation. After the celebration and self-congratulation end, there may be a few fixes to hem in a future leader as openly corrupt as Trump—but not to […]
  • Canción
    They called him Canción because he used to be a butcher. Not because he was a musician. Not because he was a singer (he couldn’t even sing). But because when he got out of jail in Puerto Barrios, where he’d been sent for holding up a gas station, he worked for a time in Doña […]
  • How Trump Lost
    The roots of Donald Trump’s reelection defeat can be traced to the early summer of 2016, when he made a fateful bargain with his own party. In June of that year, House Speaker Paul Ryan—who had pointedly refused to endorse Trump even after he became the de facto Republican nominee—finally caved. Or that’s the way […]
  • Framing Life in a Conflict Zone
    On November 6, 2020, we published Jehad al-Saftawi’s photo-essay “The Gaza I Grew Up In,” an adaptation from his book My Gaza: A City in Photographs, which is forthcoming from McSweeney’s. Today, the twenty-nine-year-old photojournalist lives with his wife, Lara, in California, where they have sought asylum, but his work here dates from his years […]
  • The Gaza I Grew Up In
    My name is Jehad al-Saftawi. I am a photographer and journalist. For years, I clung to the idea of fleeing my country for the Western world. There is no free press in Gaza. Most of the news channels cater to political parties that use violence to silence opposition. I come from a place overflowing with […]
  • News From Elsewhere
    Europe Across Europe, rates of coronavirus infection have been rising steeply, prompting a wave of restrictions and lockdowns. In the UK, a full national lockdown was resumed on Thursday for the first time in months; the day before had seen the country’s second-highest number of daily cases, and nearly five hundred deaths. Prime Minister Boris […]
  • Fall Films to Stream
    Nationtime, streaming now on KinoMarquee, by the independent director William Greaves (1926–2014), is a double rediscovery. The movie is a newly excavated and restored artifact documenting a largely forgotten event in American history, the National Black Political Convention held in Gary, Indiana, in mid-March 1972. Called by Gary’s mayor, Richard Hatcher, one of the first […]
  • Democracy’s Afterlife
    It is an infallible law that if Seamus Heaney is the Irish poet of choice, things are looking up, but if W.B. Yeats is in the air, they look ominous. Joe Biden at the National Democratic Convention in August created great expectations with Heaney’s “once in a lifetime/…longed-for tidal wave/Of justice.” But there is no […]
  • Illegal Milk
    I had no idea what we were doing was illegal. I was six at the time. And not well-versed in the milk pasteurization laws of Prince Edward Island. And yet, there I was. With my grandfather and father. Three generations. Bandits all. Breaking the law. My grandfather, for background, was born on his family’s farm […]

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