FROM Connie Alvarez
Julian Talamantez Brolaski: Of Mongrelitude Talamantez Brolaski is trans-gender and describes himself as a multi-gendered, racial and linguistic mongrel. His poems chart a journey out of pain, confusion and darkness into a visionary state.
Elif Batuman: The Idiot Selin, the heroine of Batuman’s autobiographical first novel, The Idiot, is an 18-year-old Harvard freshman of Turkish-American descent. Set in 1995, the novel observes the rise of internet culture.
George Toles: Paul Thomas Anderson Screenwriter and critic George Toles' study of writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson focuses on his more recent films, including Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood and The Master. Toles values tracking his deepest personal experiences while watching a movie.
George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I) Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."
Emil Ferris: My Favorite Thing Is Monsters My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Emil Ferris' debut graphic novel, is the diary of a ten-year-old girl obsessed with monsters who also believes she herself is a werewolf.
Gary Groth on Fantagraphics and the art of the graphic novel Gary Groth, editor of Fantagraphics, publisher of some of the most notable graphic novels today, discusses the rise of comics, what makes a good graphic novel, and what his selection process is like.
Álvaro Enrigue: Sudden Death Álvaro Enrigue's Sudden Death is the wild tale of a tennis match between the poet Francisco de Quevedo and the artist Caravaggio that transcends time and involves other historically transformative, and often combative, figures. Enrigue, who calls his impulse to write "visceral and erratic," was angered into starting this book by the 2008 financial crisis.
Rachel Cusk: Transit Rachel Cusk's novel Transit is the second in a planned trilogy. Cusk believes that humans have an innate grasp of form, a gift that makes us story-tellers. But the stories we tell ourselves can become traps.
Steve Erickson: Shadowbahn In Erickson's intense, absorbing novel, the Twin Towers suddenly re-appear in the Dakota Badlands. This road novel is a trip through a phantom country where the American dream was never realized.
Michael Tolkin: NK3 The North Koreans have tested a weapon called NK3, a weaponized nano-bacterium designed to confuse South Koreans. The test has spread around the world. As a result, the world has lost its memory.
Ottessa Moshfegh: Homesick for Another World (Part II) In the second half of our conversation with Ottessa Moshfegh, the author discusses her discomfort in this world but admits that there is a touch of self-parody in the title of this collection of stories.
Ottessa Moshfegh: Homesick for Another World (Part I) In the first of two conversations with Ottessa Moshfegh, the author reveals that she doesn't feel comfortable in this world. Her characters long for another world, as does Moshfegh.
Lynne Tillman: The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories Lynne Tillman's The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories, is a unique blend of short fiction, essays, and philosophical musings that defy categorization.
Trump cuts protections for ICE detainees, and Alaska saves Obamacare With the crackdown on illegal immigration, jail space is becoming harder to find. So the Trump administration is cutting back some of the regulations on immigrant detention centers. Also, when it comes to healthcare, Alaska’s insurance marketplace was on the brink of implosion until the state came up with a plan to save Obamacare.
Neutra landmark, Thom Mayne's home, I.M. Pei turns 100 Pioneering architect Richard Neutra's Silver Lake home has been added to the list of national historic landmarks, with an assist from Rep. Adam Schiff. Thom Mayne's new house in Cheviot Hills replaces the former home of writer Ray Bradbury, and the neighbors like it! Paul Revere Williams posthumously gets AIA's top prize, and I.M. Pei turns 100.
Bassem Youssef and Sara Taksler on 'Tickling Giants' Known as the "Jon Stewart of Egypt," Bassem Youssef hosted a satirical news show that was the first of its kind in the Middle East. The show was immensely popular, until the military-backed government forced Youssef off the air and out of the country. Youssef and director Sara Taksler tell us about their documentary Tickling Giants, which profiles Youssef’s leap from heart surgeon to super star satirist.
Lead poisoning hits LA County It’s been three years since the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan began. Flint residents are still drinking bottled water. In LA County, there are areas with even higher rates of lead contamination, and in places you wouldn’t expect, like wealthy San Marino.