“Rather than thinking of creative arts and sciences as ‘two cultures,’ we should realize that they’re running on parallel tracks.”
John Plotz edits the B-Sides series at Public Books. He is Mandel Professor of the Humanities at Brandeis University and cohost of Recall This Book. His books include The Crowd (University of California Press, 2000), Portable Property (Princeton University Press, 2008), Semi-Detached (Princeton University Press, 2017) and My Reading: Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea (Oxford University Press, 2023). He is among the cofounders of the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative.
“There’s something very solitary in her writing as well. I almost think of it as solitary solidarity.”
One of the strangest, most devastating works of Holocaust literature is about games.
“There is a deadly earnestness with which children take up whatever rules have been established for a particular context.”
"The book is about the importance of film for enabling audiences to connect to the most remote environment on the planet."
“It’s why science fiction matters so much to me: I’m trying to dislocate our sense of the normal.”
“It’s not about the land underneath campuses. It’s land at a distance, that can be sold or managed to raise funds for endowments.”
Lamming never lets readers forget that within that one man—as within all of us—is a boiling multitude.
“The first thing he said is, ‘Don't call me Mr. Baldwin. My name is Jimmy.’ I thought, this is ridiculous, at the very least he's James.”
“We need to have both the reparation and the universal perspective on economic justice.”
“People rise through the ranks and are allowed to hide torture in plain sight because they become complicit.”
Working as a children’s librarian in a “one-library town,” Cleary, age 23, found bored boys asking, “Where are the books about kids like us?”
Comedy demands a fall guy—someone upon whom the absurdity crashes and yet who emerges unscathed. And in comedy, Buster Keaton remains unrivaled.
“We're in a science fiction novel now that we are all co-writing together.”
Stephen McCauley is the author of a bevy—a raft, even—of beloved comic novels. Recent ones include My Ex-Life, Alternatives to Sex, and ...
The renowned Chinese science fiction writer Cixin Liu is best known as the author of the best-selling, Obama-beloved, Hugo-winning, and truly mind-bending trilogy ...
Agnes Heller, the Hungarian-born political philosopher, died recently, at the age of 90. The obituaries in outlets like the New York Times, Le Monde, and Deutsche Welle have been respectful, and even ...
Samuel Delany was 20 when his first novel, The Jewels of Aptor, appeared ...
Madeline Miller is a Boston-born writer who currently lives in Philadelphia. Her degrees include a BA and ...
In 1818 John Ross pointed the ship Isabella toward the Northwest Passage and opened up the Arctic exploration mania; the Shackleton-Rowett expedition of ...