Kathryn Bigelow’s trailer for her (sure to be Oscar-nominated) Detroit hit the Internet today and already has me eager for August 4 to get here. The Oscar winner teamed up again with journalist-turned-screenwriter Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty).
The period piece is about the unwarranted police raid of an after-hours bar in a motel during the summer of 1967. The event, where black men ended up dead at the hands of police, kicked off the 1967 Detroit Riot. Bigelow and Boal have been working on this for a while now, but barely anything was known about the project. For months we knew John Boyega, Will Poulter, Hannah Murray, and Anthony Mackie would star in the film. Yet their roles remained nearly a mystery. Finally, with the release of the trailer, we learned the name of the film would simply be Detroit and who would play which role.
The podcast is back for Episode 14 (while 13 was technically over at Writer’s Bone, which is why you won’t find it in my iTunes feed).
In his debut novel One of the Boys, Daniel Magariel uses his personal history to write from the perspective of a young boy who starts a new life with his brother and father. Everything is perfect in the eyes of the preteen, but events slowly turn heartbreaking when the father’s addictions and violence begin to rise to the surface. The novel carries a lot of emotional weight in a brief space — less than 200 deeply-affecting pages.
Every two months, I’ll wrangle up ten of my favorite books that I’ve come across to recommend to friends and family (plus random internet strangers). These might range from books I think are the “best” to ones that just surprised me to authors I interviewed. Here are ten from January and February in the order that they were released.
A lot of people have been viewing all of pop culture – including literature – through the political lens of 2017. While it’s important to make these connections, it’s not always necessary. Remember, books are written years in advance. They’re purchased by publishers who pick a date in the future that they feel will be the best for sales. Some of the books on this list are easy targets when making connections to the new President Administration. Others are not. However, they all have something in common even if they don’t seem similar at all.
Some explore the past. The future. Some look at the fringe aspects of society. Some take place in America. Some don’t. All of the books explore the beautiful, as well as haunting, aspects of humanity. They all stand on their own and will still be seminal reading experiences they’re read during a more stable period.
Back in 2014 and 2015, I picked a group of short stories that are available online. It’s been over a year since I’ve done something like this, but want to do it more often. Here are five short stories from five different literary journals and reviews.
Erica Ferencik is a Boston-based author whose recent release, The River at Night is a modern Deliverance set in the deep woods of Maine. I conducted a full-length interview with her for Electric Literature that talks about the research that went into writing the book and so much more.
Finding the time to read is difficult with all of the other forms of media bombarding us. I decided to share 12 books – one for each month of the year – that stuck with me in one way or another. Some I have read numerous times and love more every time I finish it. While others I have only read once but they have had a profound influence on me.
The books listed were carefully selected to go along with each month based on the content within them or the feelings associated with them. There’s a mixture of fiction and non-fiction; children’s books, and comics; as well as classics to modern hits.
Podcasts are trendier than ever now. Which is a grand thing to say. There’s a lot out there – some top notch, some not so much – and trying to find the right one for you is tricky. Here are 30 I listen to that I suggest to a lot of people I meet. Most of them are the “mainstream” ones, because I haven’t done much of a deep dive. Chances are you’ve listened to most of these if you love podcasts, but if you haven’t listened to much, you should definitely check some out.
Reading is probably the least sexy part of pop culture. If there is a ranking it would go: keeping up on Peak TV, catching the latest Oscar bait, and hearing the newest band before the rest of the world does. Yet literature is the longest, strongest pillar of culture, pop or not.
Here are 25 works of fiction – in alphabetical order – that made me laugh, cry, shiver, and think.
The longlist for the National Book Award in fiction was released today. Of the ten authors, I was lucky to interview two of them earlier in the year. Both Garth Greenwell and Karan Mahajan wrote two of my favorite novels released in 2016 and if I had to vote for a top five to make the shortlist, both would find a spot as finalists. Read the interviews of Greenwell and Mahajan after the complete list of nominated authors.
[spoilers for all of the Harry Potter series, including the new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to follow]
The Cursed Child is a meandering disappointment that uses one of the series’ least favorite McGuffin – time travel – as a central plot element. By the end of reading the two-part play, I felt bewildered and as if none of it even mattered.