Fear Is a Sickness: On Liliana Corobca’s “Kinderland”
The Los Angeles Review of Books Magazine
by dandi
3h ago
ONE OF THE most basic inequalities nowadays, if seldom mentioned, is the inequality of where you were born. Some, just by birthright, get almost everything: freedom to travel, economic security, liberty. Others face a lifetime of hunger, deprivation, precarity. This inequality is reflected in, among other things, the accessibility of literature in translation. Books by English-language writers are translated widely and dominate bookshelves all over the world. Other cultures, especially those of lesser-known languages, have a much tougher time finding their way to international readers. Some co ..read more
Visit website
Rewriting (and Righting) History: On Alexander Manshel’s “Writing Backwards”
The Los Angeles Review of Books Magazine
by Justin Gautreau
3h ago
LOOK AT THE main display in any American bookstore these days, and you’ll notice that a certain genre of novel predominates. It is “multigenerational.” It is about “the wounds of history.” The book jacket features a portrait of a figure, usually nonwhite, often in silhouette, sometimes obscured. The book in question intends to surface buried histories, in prose that is backed up by historical research. Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half (2020) is a recent example. Before that, there was Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko (2017). And before that, there was Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer (2015). (All th ..read more
Visit website
A Kind of Shape-Shifting: A Conversation with Jennifer Croft
The Los Angeles Review of Books Magazine
by LARB Intern
1d ago
JENNIFER CROFT’S brilliant debut novel, The Extinction of Irena Rey (2024), begins with the titular author—a world-renowned novelist of seemingly magical powers—having assembled her illustrious team of translators so that she can reveal her latest creation, a novel called Gray Eminence. With sharp and comic detail, we are introduced to each of these translators by the language in which they work: English, Spanish, Slovenian, and so on. And just as we settle into the great author’s home and prepare ourselves for the growing mystery of her new creation, Irena Rey goes missing—leaving our cast of ..read more
Visit website
Wake Up, Sleepyhead: On David Thomson’s “Remotely”
The Los Angeles Review of Books Magazine
by LARB Intern
2d ago
READING DAVID THOMSON’S new book about television, Remotely: Travels in the Binge of TV, I remembered a beguiling moment in his 2016 history of the medium, Television: A Biography. At the end of that book, Thomson includes a photograph of a young man at a trade show with his eyes—the entire top of his head, in fact—covered by black virtual-reality glasses. The image exudes a dopey cheerlessness, as if his high-tech leisure-seeking has annulled the poor guy himself. Or is the feeling even worse—blunt menace, as if this man were some futuristic Cyclops? Under the photo is a short passage: It is ..read more
Visit website
Interviewing the Master Interviewer: A Conversation with Lawrence Grobel
The Los Angeles Review of Books Magazine
by LARB Intern
2d ago
FREELANCERS LIVE under harsh demands, and it takes a strange creature to thrive under them—someone with a drive to climb the publication ladder, a taste for telling other peoples’ stories, an ego sturdy enough to handle regular rejection yet able to take a backseat to their subjects, and a hardy tolerance for sporadic paychecks. There’s no survival guide for it. We simply figure it out as we go. Lawrence Grobel was Playboy’s top interviewer back when that meant something. In the latter half of the 20th century, being interviewed by Playboy was a yardstick for celebrities and public intellectua ..read more
Visit website
The Matrilineal Maze: On Adriana Riva’s “Salt”
The Los Angeles Review of Books Magazine
by LARB Intern
3d ago
THERE IS a certain likeness between love and saltwater: each makes you thirstier as you consume it. Many writers have taken up the parallel. “Making Love with you / Is like drinking sea water,” writes Kenneth Rexroth in Love Poems of Marichiko (1978). “The more I drink / The thirstier I become.” Malone, a central figure in Andrew Holleran’s Dancer from the Dance (1978), a novel about gay life in New York, makes the same observation. “Love,” he writes, “was like drinking seawater.” In Argentine author Adriana Riva’s 2019 novel Salt, the love that leaves its characters parched is not romantic bu ..read more
Visit website
Complex Feminist Fantasias: On Elizabeth Flock’s “The Furies”
The Los Angeles Review of Books Magazine
by LARB Intern
3d ago
ELIZABETH FLOCK WASN’T yet 21 when she set off for Rome with friends. Their plan was to explore and enjoy; innocent and excited, Flock left, as she says in her new book The Furies: Women, Vengeance and Justice, “thinking of nothing but the Spanish Steps and rigatoni.” The group signed up for a tour on their very first night, only for Flock to be roofied by her guide and come to, mid-rape, in his bed. Bent on survival at the time, the 20-year-old “let it happen,” “dissociated,” and “was gone”—unsurprisingly, the experience has haunted her for the past 15 years. Flock’s latest work of nonfiction ..read more
Visit website
Why Hitch Still Matters: On Christopher Hitchens’s “A Hitch in Time”
The Los Angeles Review of Books Magazine
by dandi
4d ago
IT HAS BEEN 12 years since Christopher Hitchens left us. After his spirited showing in the 20th century, the first dozen years of the 21st were something of a reinvention. While Hitchens 2.0 may have left a trail of rubble in his wake, his books remained no less resolute than what had gone before: the vital study Why Orwell Matters (2002); the world-famous polemic God Is Not Great (2007); the best-selling and magisterial memoir Hitch-22 (2010); the compendious and ever-entertaining essay collection Arguably (2011); and his last feint from the edge of death, Mortality (2012). Still, it’s the be ..read more
Visit website
Life and Form: On Phillip Lopate’s “A Year and a Day”
The Los Angeles Review of Books Magazine
by dandi
4d ago
WHEN DID blogging become indistinguishable from a marketing strategy? Amid such business school terms as content ecosystem, video embedding, cross-channel promotion, and user experience, have we lost sight of the basic purpose of a blog: to communicate? Not Phillip Lopate. In 2016, the respected essayist, short story writer, film critic, novelist, and poet accepted a challenge from the editors of The American Scholar to write 45 new essays on his blog in the space of a year. Lopate agreed, despite disdaining the very idea of the form. But he soon discovered that the freedom to “exit quickly” w ..read more
Visit website
Phillip B. Williams’s “Ours”
The Los Angeles Review of Books Magazine
by dandi
5d ago
Subscribe on Podcasts | Spotify | SoundCloud Do you love listening to the LARB Radio Hour? Support the production of this weekly podcast on books, art, and culture. Donate today. Eric Newman speaks with Phillip B. Williams about his debut novel, Ours. A surrealist epic largely set in the American midwest both pre- and post-emancipation, the book tells the story of Saint, a conjure woman who uses her supernatural powers to liberate slaves and keep them safe in a magically secluded town near St. Louis. But as Saint’s magic begins to falter and newcomers appear in the town, the residents cha ..read more
Visit website

Follow The Los Angeles Review of Books Magazine on FeedSpot

Continue with Google
Continue with Apple
OR