Books

How ‘Clueless’ Illuminates the Timeless Genius of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’

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A year after Clueless hit screens, which was also about a year after I started seventh grade, I embarked on my first read of Jane Austen’s Emma. Middle school had revealed me to be more hopeless, sartorially speaking, than Tai, and more naive than Cher Horowitz herself — although I’d never have admitted either of these things. Thus, my primary refuge became classic novels, which temporarily distracted me from thornier topics like cliques, loafers, and lip …Read More

Melville House Is Publishing Pope Francis’ “Call to Action” Encyclical on Climate Change

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Independent Brooklyn publisher Melville House has acquired the rights to be the first secular publisher of Pope Francis’ climate change encyclical: On Care for Our Common Home. The volume focuses on the fates of poorer nations, should current greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated. It comes at an apt time, with the crucial UN climate talks (where leaders will try to reach a new global agreement aimed at reducing greenhouse gases) due in Paris this December.
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Not a Pretty Girl: How Women Are Fighting Pop Culture’s Tyranny of Attractiveness

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In the darkly comic Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd, our murderous hero, having finally gotten within razor-swinging distance of his mortal enemy, pauses before he avenges several decades of wrongs to sing a rapturous duet called “Pretty Women” with the villain. That is the power of female beauty: it can bring together psychotic rivals, inspire them to put aside their differences and agree that, yeah, good-looking chicks are the best.
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