Ijeoma Oluo recognizes that readers of So You Want to Talk About Race are taking a risk.
“We live in a country that tells you you can ignore this subject,” says Oluo, a Seattle-based writer, speaker, and editor at large of The Establishment, an intersectional media site funded and run by women.“If it gets painful, you can just stop.”
“If a reader was going to sit down and take the risk of delving through these tough emotions ...
Quips on our radar
Jacqueline Woodson photographed by Marty Umans.
“One of the greatest things about getting older is that nobody has tried to talk to me about Jack Kerouac in at least five years.”—Helena Fitzgerald, “20 Authors I Don’t Have to Read Because I’ve Dated Men for 16 Years” at Electric Literature
“The whole romance novel industry is about women being grabbed and thrown on a horse and ridden off into the distance. So there is a big cultural bias that we have to confront and get over ...
Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Jiménez
Gentrification is no monolith in Naima Coster’s graceful, versatile debut. Her novel, Halsey Street, is set primarily in Brooklyn’s swiftly changing Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.
“My experience of gentrification certainly isn’t the only one worth thinking about,” says Coster, a native of nearby Fort Greene, “but it’s the one I felt I could begin with.”
Coster, who holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University, an MA in English and creative writing from Fordham University, and a BA in ...
Photo Courtesy of Patricio Campini
In author-illustrator Mariana Ruiz Johnson’s dreamy picture book While You Are Sleeping, people and animals wine, dine, dance, bike, bathe, paint, and take flight—all through the night.
Told entirely through images, this tale of what happens while a yellow-haired child sleeps in a seaside city won the 2015 Silent Book Contest at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. At once realistic and surrealistic, colorful and commotional, it is an “alluring, wordless enchantment” that demands rereading, Kirkus writes in a starred review ...
Photo courtesy of Paul Sirochman
According to the extensive archival and DNA research of historian Catherine Kerrison, Thomas Jefferson had three daughters who lived into adulthood: Martha Jefferson Randolph (b. 1772), Mary “Maria” Jefferson Eppes (b. 1778), and Harriet Hemings (b. 1801).
Were we to time travel to the early 1800s and ask Jefferson directly, he almost certainly would have claimed two.
“He never in his lifetime publicly acknowledged the shadow family he had with Sally Hemings,” says Kerrison, speaking from Pennsylvania, where she ...
Photo courtesy of Nick Tucker
In conversation with Neel Mukherjee, one thing is soon laid plain: his most famous quotation, “Fiction can either be a mirror reflecting you back to yourself or it can be a clean pane of glass looking on the outside,” is not a value-neutral statement.
“There are two different kinds of readers, as well as two different kinds of writers—I have mentioned this before,” Mukherjee says by phone from London. “I’m the latter category of writer, not the autofiction ...
Photo courtesy of Vernice Dollar of Studio 16
Romance novelist Sonali Dev writes exhilarating, thought-provoking “books with a Bollywood beat”—ones our critics routinely reward with starred reviews and spots on our “Best Books” year-end lists.
“Another beautiful, breathtaking novel from a not-to-be-missed author,” Kirkus writes of her latest, A Distant Heart, a sexy page-turner set in a suburb of Mumbai. Chronicling the romance between Kimi Patil and Rahul Savant, who’ve run afoul of a fearsome mobster, A Distant Heart explores dichotomies of freedom and captivity, bravery and ...
Photo courtesy of Sonya Sones
When Amnesty International solicited short stories for an anthology on government and identity, M.T. Anderson’s submission stuck out like a sore thumb.
“They were thinking more about identity in terms of surveillance,” says Anderson, who’d recently returned from Russia while researching Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad. “I was thinking about the intersection of identity, colonization, and art.”
Anderson is the author of more than a dozen wide-ranging titles ...