Books

Flavorwire Author Club: Nora Ephron’s Quintessential Writing on the Female Experience

I think of the Nora Ephron essay “On Maintenance” every time I feel guilty about spending $43 on a charcoal face mask that does wonders with ingrown hairs I am now certain only I noticed. “Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death,” she writes. There are seven more paragraphs dedicated to getting rid of unwanted facial hair. Instantly I felt better about my own foolish womanhood. … Read More

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Book of the Week: Christopher Beha’s ‘Arts & Entertainments’

“Handsome” Eddie Hartley has “substandard sperm.” He’s been working with his wife to get pregnant, buying all sorts of expensive remedies (including $200 pillows), and now the only chance they have at starting a family is by going to the very expensive Hope Springs Fertility Center. The problem is, Eddie, a failed actor who is “good-looking in an entirely conventional way,” doesn’t make all that much money working as a drama teacher at the Catholic prep school he went to, and can’t even catch a break trying to get a job as a temp. … Read More

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The 30 Harshest Philosopher-on-Philosopher Insults in History

We’ve amused ourselves for a while now at Flavorwire with our ongoing survey of internecine mud-slinging in various areas of the arts: musicians, actors, authors, and filmmakers have all provided rich entertainment in the manifold ways they’ve fought amongst themselves. But for truly epic bitchiness and egotism, you need look no further than that most storied and venerable of academic disciplines: philosophy! The history of Western thought is peppered with thinkers taking aim at their peers — sometimes in a genteelly intellectual manner, and sometimes… um, less so (yes, Friedrich Nietzsche, this means you). Here are 30 of the best, from Aristotle to… Read More

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Flavorwire Author Club: Nora Ephron’s Guide to Dealing With Heartbreak Through ‘Heartburn’

I didn’t reread Nora Ephron’s only novel, Heartburn, last summer when my fiancé broke off our engagement, leaving me to move out of his Brooklyn apartment and onto a friend’s couch on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I did, however, watch the movie it’s based on, and for which Ephron wrote the screenplay, several times. It’s a near-perfect film, with Meryl Streep as Rachel Samstat, who is blindsided while several months pregnant when she discovers that her husband, Mark Feldman (played by Jack Nicholson), is in love with another woman. Ephron herself joked about the film years later at Meryl Streep’s AFI Lifetime Achievement tribute. “I highly recommend Meryl Streep play you,” she quipped. “If your husband is cheating on you with a carhop, get Meryl to play you. You will feel much better. If you get rear-ended in a parking lot, have Meryl Streep play you. If the dingo eats your baby, call Meryl.” … Read More

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Notes on a Budding Public Intellectual: An Excerpt From Daniel Schreiber’s Susan Sontag Biography

The first biography to be published after the writer and public intellectual’s death in 2004, Daniel Schreiber’s Susan Sontag has been translated from German into English, for release in America by Northwestern University Press, at a time when its subject’s star is the brightest it’s been since her passing. With her legacy well established, a new generation of writers is looking to Sontag as the gold standard for cultural criticism. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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Flavorwire Author Club: Never Mind David Foster Wallace, Here’s Nora Ephron

Joan Didion and David Foster Wallace are two of the most common points of comparison for contemporary essayists who blur the line between cultural criticism and their own personal experience. Whether their books border on memoir or their essays set out with the intent to dissect an experience, event, or work of art from a personal point of view, we frequently judge new voices by these two giants of the modern essay. … Read More

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5 Great Forbidden Love Stories With ‘Like No Other’ Author Una LaMarche

Una LaMarche‘s Like No Other is a wonderful romance between two Brooklyn teenagers — Devorah, an Orthodox Jew, and Jaxon, a black nerd — whose paths cross when they’re trapped in a hospital elevator during a hurricane. Despite the fact that they both live in Crown Heights, their paths would’ve never crossed otherwise, as Devorah is part of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement, which exists in its own cloistered world — a world that, historically, has had tensions with Crown Heights’ African American population. … Read More

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“Tyler Durden Has Been Around for Centuries”: Chuck Palahniuk Talks ‘Fight Club 2′

When Chuck Palahniuk floated the possibility of a graphic novel sequel to his now-classic book Fight Club at New York Comic Con last… Read More

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