Blog Profile / Slate: Books

Filed Under:Entertainment / Books
Posts on Regator:1148
Posts / Week:3.1
Archived Since:July 14, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Practicing Art With Liberty and Joy

The novelist Colson Whitehead has always been preoccupied with work—its capacity for both excruciating drudgery and the realization of inner truths. His characters have often sought its deeper currents, beginning with Lila Mae Watson,...Show More Summary


A friend of mine attended Berkeley High School in the late 1970s, and there he witnessed the disruption of a mandatory assembly at which candidates for student body offices were supposed to be making their campaign speeches. A punk provocateur...Show More Summary

The Most Dreadful Murder of the Century

Robert Coombes was a monster, as far as the press was concerned, and you can hardly blame it for that conclusion. At the age of 13, the boy was denounced in the newspaper Lloyd’s Weekly as the perpetrator of HORROR ON HORROR’S HEAD THE...Show More Summary

“The Concubine Culture Is Alive and Well”

In 2009, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan found herself hanging out in Singapore with a group of newly divorced high school friends who had started calling themselves “sarong party girls.” Tan had been recently laid off from her job as a fashion writer...Show More Summary

Bound to Labor

In his The Last Policeman trilogy, Ben Winters imagined a detective practicing his profession in a world where the imminent extinction of humanity via an incoming asteroid makes law enforcement seem pointless. With his newest book, Underground Airlines, he invents another sort of existential detective—a manhunter for the U.S. Show More Summary

You’ve Never Heard of Charlie Chan Hock Chye?

Charlie Chan Hock Chye was born in 1938 and wanted early on, he tells his interviewer, to become “Singapore’s greatest comics artist.” In his remarkable book The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, that interviewer, the Singaporean cartoonist...Show More Summary

Ben Lerner Doesn’t Hate Poetry

“I, too, dislike it.” Inevitably Ben Lerner’s slim book The Hatred of Poetry begins with the opening salvo from Marianne Moore’s 1967 poem “Poetry,” which conveyed (in four crisp, if pointedly clumsy, lines) her “perfect contempt” for the art. Show More Summary

The Screen and the Page

If you haven’t yet heard someone proclaim that the TV series—specifically, the premium-cable drama—is “the new novel,” then you must be on a strict media diet prohibiting the consumption of cultural think pieces. Salman Rushdie saidShow More Summary

“Ten Years Ago, I Helped a Handful of Men Take My Little Brother’s Life”

I’ll admit that I picked up The Reactive, the first novel by South African writer Masande Ntshanga, with certain expectations. Because the cover tells us that the main character, a young man called Lindanathi Mda, is HIV-positive (aShow More Summary

“One Thing Is Inescapable: I Write”

“A woman should have room for a flute,” thinks the protagonist of Minna Needs Rehearsal Space, one of two recently translated novellas by the Danish writer Dorthe Nors. “A woman should have room for a flute, a triangle, and a guitar.”...Show More Summary

The Messy Woman

“Imperfect things are the most beautiful things of all,” writes Heather Havrilesky in How to Be a Person in the World, a compendium of her unruly, swaggering “Ask Polly” advice columns. Polly, billed as an “existential advice columnist,”...Show More Summary

White Trash

In one of the iconic images of the Civil Rights movement, Elizabeth Eckford, a 15-year-old black student, was photographed trying to enter Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas, as part of the 1957 court-ordered desegregation of the school. Show More Summary

The Clerk, the Construction Worker, the Mom, and the Goldfish

“A star shall die as another is born, and so shall they be chosen. Three warriors to lead us into a new age.” Far out in space, three brave warriors wait for the centuries-old prophecy to come true and transform them into heroes for the ages. Show More Summary

Susan and Stefánie

I recently tried to summarize Susan Faludi’s impressive new memoir, In the Darkroom, for a friend, just as I’m about to summarize it for you. “It sounds like a novel,” she replied. “A bad novel.” It does. Sometimes, reality deliversShow More Summary

Sacred Rage

A hundred years ago this August, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act that established the National Park Service as part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The 411 areas that have since been designated for preservation...Show More Summary

Extra Ordinary

Poetry has long courted the ordinary, and the marriage of the two has strategic value for each: Poems, with their frequent aspirations to be extraordinary, gain credibility from the language and images of our seemingly plain days, and...Show More Summary

Rewinding Helen DeWitt

Published to tremendous acclaim in 2000 but out of print for much of the past decade, Helen DeWitt’s massive novel The Last Samurai is being reissued this month by New Directions. With any luck, the acclaim for DeWitt’s 2011 tragicomisexual...Show More Summary

Modern Lovers

“He didn’t want to feel old,” Emma Straub writes of one of the fortysomething protagonists of her wonderful new novel, Modern Lovers. It is such a simple, plaintive statement, and one so revealing about the human condition in general,...Show More Summary

Experts in Female Sadness

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the forces that shaped the Manson Family seemed at once unfathomable and obvious. The grotesque and random killings were terrifying enough, but those freaky girls—both the three on trial for murderShow More Summary

The Paper Girls and the Alien Invaders

In the wee hours of the morning after Halloween, 1988, a paper delivery girl named Erin sets out on her route in a sleepy Ohio town, autumn leaves crunching beneath the wheels of her bike as an odd red comet streaks through the sky.Show More Summary

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