Books

How PTSD Can Change the Culture: An Interview With ‘The Evil Hours’ Author David J. Morris

In The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, writer David J. Morris shows how the disorder has been a part of the human experience since time began, and how our understanding of it and treatment of it has changed throughout the years. Even today, the “PTSD” label is often misunderstood and misapplied, with the average reader seeing it as something that only affects veterans and rape victims (which is decidedly not the case). What a relief, then, to have Morris’ stunning writing and thorough research to make sense of it. As a former Marine, Morris writes vividly about life during and after war; and he also turns his eye towards the trauma that can arise from other categories including sexual assault and near-death experiences. We talked to him on the phone about how a greater understanding of PTSD could lead to a better culture, from veterans coming home to how colleges handle rape on campus. … Read More

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Reif Larsen’s ‘I Am Radar': Art and Race in 2015’s First Big, Messy Novel

Am Radar begins in darkness: the title character, Radar Radmanovic, is born to his mother Charlene during a hospital blackout. Charlene’s husband, Kermin Radmanovic, is tinkering with a transceiver radio in the delivery room, waiting to “announce his child’s arrival to the world.” But when the lights come on the doctor is holding on to her newborn child, a baby “so dark it shimmered purple in the beam of light, like an eggplant.” … Read More

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Jennifer Lawrence and Steven Spielberg Confirmed for Adaptation of War Photographer Lynsey Addario’s Memoir


Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is finalizing a deal for Lynsey Addario’s memoir What I Do: A Photographer’s Life… Read More

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Can This Small Publisher’s Radiohead-Style Plan Change the Way Books Are Sold?

With the release poet Noah Eli Gordon’s The Word Kingdom in the Word Kingdom, Brooklyn Arts Press is attempting something rare in small publishing — they are trying to change the way books are sold. Specifically, BAP, run by managing editor and publisher Joe Pan, is selling Gordon’s books via a “pay what you want” model, in the vein of Radiohead and Louis CK, albeit with some significant differences. To begin with (and perhaps surprisingly) BAP is selling physical and not digital copies of the book — you pay only a five dollar S&H fee along with whatever price you choose. And the obvious thing: Radiohead and Louis CK were able to implement such a model because they are famous. Although Gordon is not famous, Brooklyn Arts Press is hoping that word-of-mouth, the model itself, and the quality of the book, which is excellent, will help drive sales. And it already seems to be working. … Read More

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Paul Éluard’s Poem “Liberty” Is the Unseen Star of ‘Maps to the Stars’

Spoiler alert: this post contains vague references to occurrences at the end of Maps to the Stars.

Maps to the Stars begins in a mode of straightforward, Hollywood-brutalizing satire. We’re introduced, via Cronenberg’s bloodlessly still lens, to the players in the tritest of Hollywood nightmares. Each character reflects a Hollywood type so dominant as to seem, when rendered fictionally, hugely self-evident. … Read More

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10 Must-Read Books For March

March means only one thing: the frozen sea inside the heart of publishing is thawing. We will see books — first a trickle, then a flood. This deluge is so enormous, in fact, that we’ve decided to collect some of it in a bucket that we will call “10 Must-Read Books for March 2015.” Inside this bucket you will find Kazuo Ishiguro’s long-awaited follow-up to Never Let Me Go, great nonfiction, a non-diary diary, the “greatest Mexican novelist,” and more. Let the anticipation wash over you. … Read More

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History’s Wildest Literary Rumors

When French author Michel Houellebecq was promoting his 2010 novel The Map and the Territory, winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt, and failed to show for several appearances, the media flew into a frenzy. Some even speculated that he was kidnapped. This rumor inspired Guillaume Nicloux’s The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq, starring the writer as a version of himself. The film’s official US trailer debuted this week, reminding us of the many rumors that have plagued some of literature’s finest. Here are just a… Read More

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Jane Eyre, Lizzy Bennet, and Jo March Walk Onto a Stage: Remixing a New Canon of Heroines

Last night I saw You on the Moors Now, an experimental play currently running in New York City’s Greenwich Village, which cannily combines characters and plot points from four novels: Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. The story, such as it is, consists of the respective heroines banding together after spurning their various suitors. They end up camping out on the moors. Meanwhile, they are pursued by the rejected men, themselves united in an attempt at revenge, or requited love, or some other concession. The cast features a delightfully queered Mr. Darcy, a manic Jane Eyre who longs to travel in space, a Cathy Earnshaw with unexpectedly pronounced leadership qualities, and sundry twists and gimmicks which wouldn’t have worked if much of the audience didn’t have a basic understanding of at least a few of the four novels. … Read More

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Kafka and the Crash of the System: An Interview with Tom McCarthy

The British novelist Tom McCarthy — the author of CMen in Space, and the increasingly revered Remainder — is known primarily in the United States for Zadie Smith’s essay “Two Paths for the Novel,” wherein she cites McCarthy’s work as a future for literary fiction. In this mode, many critics now single out McCarthy as the torchbearer for avant-gardism, or at least they point to him as our most serious-minded critic of literary realism. This position was hardened, too, after McCarthy wrote a brilliant takedown of realism (as an obvious contrivance) for London Review of Books last year. … Read More

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