Blog Profile / Slate: Books

Filed Under:Entertainment / Books
Posts on Regator:1267
Posts / Week:3
Archived Since:July 14, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Exotic Minutiae

James Earl Ray was an eclectic reader. His nightstand in the weeks following his assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968 could have theoretically included the novel Mission in Tangier, the self-help book Psycho-Cibernetics, or a manual on hypnotism. Show More Summary

The Chickenshit Club

In April, the New York Times published a nearly 8,000-word story about what James Comey was thinking last year while overseeing FBI investigations into both sides of the 2016 presidential race. Through interviews with the former FBIShow More Summary

How Reality Crumbles

Halfway through Karin Tidbeck’s new novel Amatka, a woman named Vanja begins an office job. She spends her first day paddling through a sea of paperwork, filing page after page of documents attesting to the most mundane developments in the lives of those around her—births, deaths, educational milestones, retirements. Show More Summary

She Dined on Black Pudding

In 1969, Helen Gurley Brown was still riding the wave of her blockbuster debut, Sex and the Single Girl, as well as her stunningly successful transformation of a dowdy, 80-year-old general interest magazine into the insouciantly racy Cosmopolitan. Show More Summary

Famous Last Words

“When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight,” Samuel Johnson remarked, “it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” The same can be said of the terminally ill. Johnson’s word, concentrate, suggests why the rest of us often seek wisdom from people facing this terrible sentence. Show More Summary

The Hunger to Stop Hurting

Roxane Gay’s new book—the “most difficult writing experience of my life,” she admits on Page 4—is called Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Those parentheses seem designed to call the ownership of her body into question. They announce the...Show More Summary


According to a hoary legend of the book publishing world, Bennett Cerf, one of the founders of Random House, was once asked if he could discern any formula for a best-seller. Reasoning that books about Abraham Lincoln, doctors, and dogs...Show More Summary

To Overflow Every Division Between Human Beings

The run-down Delhi graveyard where the two women whose stories run through Arundhati Roy’s second novel finally meet is a surprisingly convivial necropolis. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Roy’s long-awaited follow-up to her celebrated...Show More Summary

Second Sight

Teju Cole—novelist, essayist, photographer, and photography critic—has crafted a body of work marked by a stunning subterranean unity. Reading any one of his books is like stumbling upon the exposed tip of a massive underground landmass, one that he’s spent the better part of a decade mapping but the entirety of which he has yet to image. Show More Summary

The Mournful, Lonely Feminism of Chelsea Clinton’s She Persisted

Chelsea Clinton, now a 37-year-old mother of two, has spent her adulthood weaving in and out of the family business. But even when she has dabbled in politics, her position as first kid, as Jack Shafer observed in February 2016, allowed her to hover above the fray—untouched by partisan squabbles and almost off-limits to the press. Show More Summary

A Novel Wrapped in a Mystery

Maile Meloy is best known for writing intricate but economical family sagas in which the characters’ tangled lives are refracted through a dozen or so different perspectives. Every member of the brood views the goings-on in a custom-made cast of light. Show More Summary

Oenophiles Gone Wild

You probably think oenophiles are pretentious, effete, and snobbish. But Cork Dork, Bianca Bosker’s irresistible journey through the world of wine obsessives, teaches us that elite wine lovers are so much more. They’re also vain, self-centered,...Show More Summary

“When I Write Fiction, I’m in My Body as a Different Person”

Two decades ago, Arundhati Roy released her first novel, The God of Small Things. The response was pretty much everything an author could hope for from a debut. (It was a huge best-seller and won the Booker Prize.) But in the past 20...Show More Summary

Why Not Al?

Al Franken is currently serving his second term as a U.S. senator for the state of Minnesota, but you know what? He used to be a comedian! As approximately 4,000 headline writers have said about Franken’s political career: “No joke!” In his new book, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Franken explains that he’s getting pretty sick of no joke. Show More Summary

Bless Me Father

If certain muses love certain writers, Patricia Lockwood seems to have a special relationship with the muse of fun. For her, fun is more than part of a life well-lived. It has aesthetic value and can open the door to other literary goods: freedom, freshness, generosity of spirit. Show More Summary

Killers of the Flower Moon

One day in the early 1890s, an Osage Native American took a local trader out to see a rainbow slick on the tribe’s territory in what is now northeastern Oklahoma. The Osage dipped a blanket in the creek, wrung it out into a container,...Show More Summary

Dark Futures

The worst thing about the present, if you’re an artist, is that it never stands still long enough. Once, perhaps, it lingered, back in the days when everyone communicated by letter and Jane Austen heroines entertained houseguests for seven weeks at a time. Show More Summary

What They Did to My Baby

When Sybrina Fulton learned that her son, Trayvon Martin, had been killed, she lay in bed for days, praying and crying. She thought about the fact that she would never again kiss her son, would never take pictures of his prom, see him graduate high school, or go to college. Show More Summary

She’s Not Like Those Other Feminists   

If Hillary Clinton had won in November, Laura Kipnis’ brash, juicy, and often maddening new book Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus might have been a bigger cultural event, a generator of a thousand think pieces. It combines...Show More Summary

Red Pens and Invisible Ink

In 2008 I published a short piece in Cabinet magazine on the fate of writer Thomas Browne’s skull, stolen from his coffin 158 years after his death. It caught the attention of an editor at a small press called Unbridled Books, Fred Ramey, who contacted me and asked if I would develop it into what became my first book. Show More Summary

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