Blog Profile / Slate: Books

Filed Under:Entertainment / Books
Posts on Regator:1014
Posts / Week:3.4
Archived Since:July 14, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Null and Void

In a piece of flash fiction titled “Negative Emotions,” Lydia Davis makes an eloquent case for negativity. In the story, a teacher inspired by Buddhist doctrine urges his colleagues to alleviate their negative feelings by identifying “emotion as an emotion” and practicing “mindful breathing” and other feel-good platitudes. Show More Summary

The Entertainer

Nick Hornby first became known as a bard of young men perennially stuck in place: Rob Fleming in his record shop in High Fidelity; Will Freeman trapped by his song royalties in About a Boy; even Hornby himself, cheering for Arsenal on an endless loop in his memoir Fever Pitch. Show More Summary

Not Just Another Ugly Face

The writer Amanda Filipacchi has said that her past novels have haunted her. The fiction she wrote began to seep into her real life. For her previous novel, Love Creeps, she thought she invented a psychological disorder to plague her...Show More Summary

You Lie!

House was a great show, at least for the first few seasons. Hugh Laurie played a cantankerous drug addict doctor with near-mystical powers of diagnosis, powers whet on the stone of an infallible motto: “Everybody lies.” House was a Mephistopheles figure, but he was telling the truth. Show More Summary

This Essay Was Due 25 Years Ago

This essay was due 25 years ago. The teacher who assigned it could be dead. I was in 10 th grade when I was assigned a 10-page term paper on Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles for English class. I read the novel twice. I read secondary sources (Irving Howe, probably, as well as Virginia Woolf, Raymond Williams, and Gillian Beer). Show More Summary

Tricking the Witch

Excerpted from The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth, edited by Erika Eichenseer, translated by Maria Tatar. Out now from Penguin Classics. The British press reported in 2012 that 500...Show More Summary

Beautifully, Profoundly, Naively, Contradictorily, Romantically, Kinetically, Jokily, Cockily, Fearfully, Drunkenly, Goofily, Impudently

The moment I realized Robert Christgau’s Going Into the City: Portrait of a Critic as a Young Man would be doing something different from your average writer’s memoir came—well, almost came—around Page 95. The morning after skippingShow More Summary

The Abyss of Bones

Here, in no special order of importance or chronology, are some things that happen in Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel: An old man uses a hoe to fight off thousands of pixies who have attacked his wife as she floats down a river in a basket;...Show More Summary

Hall of Mirrors

Many writers have published their diaries. Far fewer have published diaries about their diaries, as Sarah Manguso has done with her new book, Ongoingness: The End of a Diary. A poet turned memoirist, Manguso has spent 25 years compulsively creating a life record of 800,000 words and counting. Show More Summary

In Search of Lost Innocence

Some comics win you over with a propulsive plot that makes a book’s drawing style irrelevant, or at least not that important. It’s easy to overlook artwork that isn’t quite to your taste if the story a comic tells pushes you forward,...Show More Summary

“It Was All Unknown and Possibility”

Getting close to Kim Gordon, during her 30-year career in Sonic Youth, never felt easy. She was cool, in both an aesthetic sense and an emotional one. She seemed tough in general—tough to talk to, tough to decode. Onstage, Gordon was restrained, in sharp contrast to Thurston Moore’s showy guitar theatrics. Show More Summary

How Should We Make the Most Important Decisions of Our Lives?

Paul Bloom: Hi Laurie. Your new book Transformative Experience hits the sweet spot: It’s a significant scholarly work, bearing on deep philosophical issues, but it’s also engaging and accessible. You ask a great question: How can...Show More Summary

Hanya Yanagihara and Gerry Howard

Hanya Yanagihara’s first novel, The People in the Trees—about a doctor in search of the secret to immortality—was published in 2013. Now Doubleday is releasing her second novel, A Little Life, which follows four friends in New York as they come of age together over the course of three decades. Show More Summary

Brilliance and Fury

Some books are not books— I am intimidated to begin this review. I am scared to approach something so gimlet-eyed, something with a vision so different—richer, wilder, more precise—than my own. I’m supposed to recognize it, but...Show More Summary

The Cartoonist Studio Prize: The Shortlists

The Slate Book Review and the Center for Cartoon Studies are proud to announce the nominees for the third annual Cartoonist Studio Prize. The winner in each of our two categories will be announced April 6; each winner will receive $1,000 and, of course, eternal glory. Show More Summary

Supreme Court 2013: The Year in Review

Supreme Court opinions are indeed very long. The ideological rift between the majority and the minority is really, really strong. Judges are supposed to base their decisions on legal materials and the proper roles of the branches ofShow More Summary

The Schmoozing Gene

For years, Barack Obama was able to keep his poll numbers high because the American public saw him as above the fray. But now that his poll numbers are dipping, he lacks the personal relationships to fall back on when the worm turns—in part because he's stayed so above the fray. Show More Summary

Salinger, the Swamis, and the Secrets

I’m standing outside an imposing four-story graystone townhouse. Located on a leafy, blossoming block of East 94th Street in Manhattan, it’s the headquarters and worship center of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Society, the spiritual home to J.D. Show More Summary

Fright in the Attic

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My Gay Dad Dreamed of This Day

I’m not trying to get her to grow up gay. I’m not hiding my gayness to get her to grow up straight. But she can see that there are many orientations and many ways to be. Hopefully, by the time she grows up we will have a society where those dichotomies of whether you’re gay or straight, a man or a woman aren’t so important. Show More Summary

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