John Darnielle has been putting out music for nearly two decades as the Mountain Goats, but this week he releases an excellent new novel, Wolf in White Van, which was just long-listed for the National Book Award. The book traces backwards through the life of Sean Phillips, who — following … More »
Continue reading John Darnielle Explains His Cultural Influences
On September 16, John Darnielle—best known as the singer/guitarist and essential constituent of the band the Mountain Goats—released his debut novel, Wolf in White Van. A day later, the National Book Foundation announced it had been nominated to the long list for the 2014 National Book Award for fiction. Read more…
Continue reading Where Do You Go After Writing Your Ending? A Q&A With John Darnielle
The cartoonist creator of ‘Dykes to Watch Out For,’ graphic memoirist, and originator of the ‘Bechdel Test’ for movies, has been awarded a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant. We celebrate why.
Continue reading Alison Bechdel: Genius to Watch Out For
Riding a new wave of feminism driven by an unlikely mix of commerce and online discourse, the British feminist doesn’t give a damn if you like her politics.
Continue reading Laurie Penny’s In-Your-Face Feminism
The shortlist will arrive on October 15 and the winners will be announced November 19. We won’t pick a favorite but only one of the authors on this list has recorded an impassioned defense of Justin Bieber. Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary WomanMolly Antopol, The UnAmericansJohn Darnielle, Wolf in White VanAnthony … More »
Continue reading Here Is the Longlist for the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction
In her last novel, The Middlesteins, author Jami Attenberg wrote a tale of family life in the modern Midwest. For her next one, Saint Mazie, due in June 2015, she goes back in time to Depression-era New York City. Here’s a look at the beautiful jacket art for Saint Mazie … More »
Continue reading See the Beautiful Book Jacket for Jami Attenberg’s Saint Mazie
Comics memoirist Alison Bechdel is one of this year’s 21 new MacArthur Fellows, and she’s just the second cartoonist ever to be awarded the honor. Bechdel tells the L.A. Times she’s going to use the $650,000 grant to “pay off some debts, save for retirement — really boring stuff.” Here’s … More »
Continue reading Alison Bechdel Wins MacArthur Genius Grant
Since he already wrote the book, Neil Patrick Harris used the trailer for his forthcoming memoir Choose Your Own Autobiography to show off some of his many other talents. As you might expect, NPH is a pretty great magician, and a very bad competitive binge drinker. This is delightful. … More »
Continue reading See Neil Patrick Harris’s Very Charming Book Trailer
In a casting move that has author John Green “so excited!” Cara Delevingne and her eyebrows have signed on for the upcoming screen adaptation of Green’s Paper Towns. The model will star as Margo, a mysterious young woman who enthralls a nerdy teen played by The Fault in Our Stars’ Nat … More »
Continue reading Cara Delevingne Will Star in the Latest John Green Adaptation
It’s no secret that James Brown had a dark side. This summer’s biopic Get On Up left out many of the weird, uncomfortable, and simply violent incidents that Brown instituted or participated in. But it wasn’t until now that we’ve been able to get a look at just how frightening … More »
Continue reading My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. And Then I Found Myself With Someone Like Dad.
Forty years ago today, Robert Caro’s ‘The Power Broker’—a magisterial 1,296-page life of New York master builder Robert Moses—rewrote the rules of biography.
Continue reading How Robert Caro Wrote a Masterpiece
Today’s genre books are full of future dystopias, which only have one weakness: teenagers. And everybody knows that most dystopias are kind of contrived. But here are 10 lessons from real-life rebellions against repressive regimes, that we wish the creators of fictional dystopias would pay attention to.Read more…
Continue reading 10 Lessons From Real-Life Revolutions That Fictional Dystopias Ignore
Julian Assange is the founder of Wikileaks. A wanted man, he recently began his third year living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. He joins us now to answer your questions about his new book, When Google Met Wikileaks.Read more…
Continue reading Julian Assange Is Here to Discuss His New Book
The Ivy League and other top schools are producing no more than ‘excellent sheep,’ says William Deresiewicz. Standardized tests need more emphasis, says Steven Pinker. What they miss.
Continue reading The Elite American College Pile-On
While Russians in America argue over Sergei Dovlatov’s legacy, Russia tightens its grip.
Continue reading From Moscow to Queens, Down Dovlatov Way
Glasgow School of Art replaces 22% of its most popular books that were lost in a fire at its Mackintosh building in June.
Continue reading Books donated to fire-hit art school
A programming note: tomorrow (Monday) at noon Eastern time, Julian Assange will be online here to answer reader questions about his new book, When Google Met Wikileaks. Join us then. Read more…
Continue reading A programming note: tomorrow (Monday) at noon Eastern time, Julian Assange will be online here to an
One of the best novelists alive, Mitchell probably couldn’t write a truly bad book, but while his latest effort is always entertaining, nothing about it sticks with you.
Continue reading David Mitchell’s Novel’s Empty Calories
It seemed like exaggerated fictional future at the time, but E.B. White and Gary K. Wolf’s decades-old prophecies about Americans’ sports obsessions now look strikingly dead-on.
Continue reading They Saw Our Sports Problem Coming
Arguably America’s most influential historian, Burns fashions a fascinating documentary from the lives of Teddy, Franklin, and Eleanor. But his story has grave gaps.
Continue reading Ken Burns’s ‘Roosevelts’ Fine But Flawed