The inspiration for 'Cabaret' is 80 years old
Christopher Isherwood; credit New Directions.
In the early 1930s, a time fast fading into history, strange things were afoot in Germany. Trading on ancient symbolism, timeworn prejudices, modern pseudoscience, and long-nursed grievances, a powerful right-wing coalition was rising, led by a charismatic war veteran who promised to restore it to greatness and whose name would soon be known around the world.
In those early days, he banked on being unheard outside his own country. There were eyewitnesses on hand, to be sure, to report his ...
For her latest book, author Rita Williams-Garcia, a self-described “city girl,” had to learn about milking a cow.
When driving through the Pennsylvania countryside to visit family, she noticed a young Amish man milking a cow. She pulled over. “He didn’t mind us watching,” she says. When she noticed the udders strained and full, she thought, “Oh, I get it. They really have to get up and milk those cows when there isn’t a calf around.” With ...
Attica Locke photographed by Jenny Walters.
Most writers tell the same story again and again, regardless of genre. Scandal showrunner Shonda Rhimes says her story is "You are not alone." Whether she is writing for TV or one of her fast-paced novels, Attica Locke's favorite story to tell is: "They're all lying."
That may sound cynical, but Locke is actually having a moment that artists dream about. Her third novel, Pleasantville, publishes on April 21. After 10 years of writing scripts for studios from ...
Our preview of books first published abroad
The Girl in the Red Coat
U.K.: Feb. 26, 2015 | Faber & Faber
U.S.: None yet
Twenty-five girls in red coats handed out 20,000 sample chapters at London train stations to promote this compelling debut novel, a rare investment and a sign that Faber & Faber expects it to be a bestseller. The story is every parent’s nightmare: a little girl, Carmel, vanishes mysteriously at a book fair, leaving ...
The doctors meant well.
For decades, patients with severe or chronic pain had been undertreated because the only effective pain medication (morphine and other opiates) was highly addictive.
According to Sam Quinones’s gripping new account of America’s raging opiate addiction, as more and more patients started reporting chronic pain, doctors began to question the old wisdom about opiates. In 1996, Purdue Pharmaceuticals released OxyContin, and doctors felt they could help alleviate the pain of millions. By 2012, drug ...
A dispatch from this year's Associated Writing Programs conference.
Graywolf Press' event with Eula Biss, Leslie Jamison, Maggie Nelson, and Claudia Rankine was packed. Photo by AWP/Robb Cohen Photography.
The annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference hit Minneapolis this past week. Addressing North America’s largest literary conference, the mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges, turned out to welcome attendees at Thursday’s keynote with a sincere rally cry for more poetry in her administration—her love for literature went so far to include an admission that she has written an unpublished YA novel. Before Karen Russell took the stage to deliver the actual keynote address, Mayor Hodges brought attention ...
Books that match the happiness of spring
Spring has finally sprung, with all-day sunshine and temperatures moving into the meaty part of the 70s—at least down here in the South. As my northern colleagues still work to shake off the snow and the bone-chilling cold, my thoughts have turned toward the gradually awakening outside world and all its warming, soul-gladdening possibilities. I always look forward to reading books that match my mood, the season, or both, and April has a host of excellent options. Here are three ...
Angela Flournoy photographed by LaTaya T. Duncan
When Angela Flournoy visited her grandparents’ Detroit home in 2009, no one had been living there for quite some time—yet it remained crystallized in perfect condition. After her grandmother moved out, her uncles continued to maintain the house as neighboring East Side homes crumbled into disrepair and squatters proliferated. Flournoy recalls the eerie sensation that time had frozen within the house, even as the surrounding city, corroded by violence and economic downfall, had completely transformed.
“It made me start thinking ...