Legacy Russell's "Black Meme"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
14h ago
Writer and curator Legacy Russell joins Kate Wolf to discuss her new book, Black Meme, which theorizes the history of viral images of Blackness in America from the dawn of the 20th century to the present. The book argues for the centrality of Black culture in the formation of the digital sphere; it also points to the many ways images of Black people have been exploited, decontextualized, and abused both before and after the internet. Russell draws on a variety of examples, from the open-casket photos of Emmet Till that appeared in Jet Magazine, to the phenomena of Michael Jackson’s Thriller vi ..read more
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Miranda July's "All Fours"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
1w ago
Miranda July speaks to Kate Wolf about her latest novel, All Fours. Its narrator is a woman in the middle of her life, a recognized artist who’s worked steadily for years with “the confidence that comes from knowing there is no other path.” Shortly after her 45th birthday, she decides to take a road trip to New York to celebrate with money she’s recently made from a whiskey commercial. She leaves her husband and child one morning and ends up stopping in a small suburb outside of Los Angeles for breakfast. But instead of continuing on, she rents a motel room there and proceeds to stay for the n ..read more
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On Giving Up
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
2w ago
In this special episode, hosts Medaya Ocher, Kate Wolf, and Eric Newman discuss the case for and against giving up—on life, vices, dreams, creative pursuits, jobs, relationships, exercise, and work. Their conversation is inspired by Adam Phillips’s recent book On Giving Up, in which the psychoanalyst observes that “we give things up when we believe we can change; we give up when we believe we can’t.” The hosts discuss what is acceptable to give up, their own fears of failure, both fictional and real-life inspirational quitters, and whether Bartleby was onto something when he said he’d prefer n ..read more
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Anna Shechtman's "The Riddles of the Sphinx"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
3w ago
Scholar and writer Anna Shechtman joins Medaya Ocher to discuss her book The Riddles of the Sphinx: Inheriting the Feminist History of the Crossword Puzzle. Shechtman is an accomplished cruciverbalist, constructing a bimonthly crossword at The New Yorker; she is the former Humanities and Film Editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books, where she is now an editor-at-large. Her book is a history of how women shaped the crossword puzzle, only to be pushed out of the puzzling industry. It’s also a memoir of Shechtman's own start with crossword constructing and the simultaneous development of her ea ..read more
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The Veteranos of East LA
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
1M ago
Scholar Randol Contreras joins Kate Wolf and Eric Newman to discuss his new book The Marvelous Ones: Drugs, Gang Violence, and Resistance in East Los Angeles. The book is a study of the history and present lives of veterans of the legendary Maravilla gang that long dominated the scene in East Los Angeles before a bitter rivalry with the La Eme during the 1990s and early 2000s that had Maravillas scrambling for their lives in the streets and in prison. Though centered around the experience of that epic gang rivalry, The Marvelous Ones is also an examination of how masculinity, race, and cultura ..read more
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Victoria Chang on Finding Agnes Martin During Crisis
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
1M ago
Kate Wolf speaks with the poet Victoria Chang about her latest collection of poems, With My Back to the World. The book is in deep conversation with the work of the painter Agnes Martin: each poem takes the title of one of Martin’s paintings and is also often accompanied by Chang’s own visual interpretations of Martin’s work. Regarding Martin’s intricate grids and spare compositions inevitably allows Chang to reflect on form, emptiness, nature and light; along with more personal reflections on depression, identity, solitude, violence, and destruction. Chang writes about the act of looking alon ..read more
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Morgan Neville's "STEVE! (martin) a documentary in 2 pieces"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
1M ago
Eric Newman speaks with director Morgan Neville about his new film "STEVE! (martin) a documentary in 2 pieces," which explores the legendary comedian's meteoric rise to standup stardom, his abrupt pivot to TV and film, and his return to stage in the present as he and close friend Martin Short prep a new comedy tour. Eric and Morgan discuss the treasure trove of never-before-seen archival that brings Martin's early career to life, what Morgan has learned about fame and the psychology of entertainers from his storied work documenting the lives of cultural luminaries, and much more ..read more
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The Problem with Adoption
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
2M ago
Kate Wolf speaks with sociologist Gretchen Sisson about her first book, Relinquished: The Politics of Adoption and the Privilege of American Motherhood. The book is based on interviews Sisson conducted over the last decade with birth mothers who relinquished their children for private adoption in the US. Most often Sisson found that these women deeply regretted their decision, and that poverty was the driving force behind it. Alongside the harrowing stories of the women who Sisson spoke with, her book also looks at the history of adoption in the United States and its ties to conservative Chris ..read more
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Brad Gooch's "Radiant: The Life and Line of Keith Haring"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
2M ago
Eric Newman and Kate Wolf speak with Brad Gooch about his new biography, Radiant: The Life and Line of Keith Haring. A deep-dive into the life of an artist whose work can be seen today on everything from museum walls to t-shirts and tote bags, Gooch's book unearths the cultural moment that gave rise to Haring's meteoric career before his untimely death in 1990. Moving across topics including the commercialization of art, cultural appropriation, the AIDS crisis, and more, Radiant brings the highly-recognizable artist into nuanced focus. Also, Tana French, author of The Hunter, returns to recomm ..read more
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Tana French's "The Hunter"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
2M ago
Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman speak with megawatt mystery maven Tana French about her latest novel, The Hunter. Set in the fictional rural Irish town of Ardnakelty, The Hunter is a dark, slow-burning story of the ties that knit together small communities–and the animosities that tear them apart. French talks about how American Westerns influenced the tone and texture of her latest novels, where she gets the ideas for her dark stories, and how her globe-hopping childhood made her the mystery writer she is today. Also, Leslie Jamison, author of Splinters: Another Kind of Love Story, returns to re ..read more
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