Tag: Nonfiction

Is Our Work Done?

The answer depends, of course, on our definition of work. I’m writing this late at night. It’s Sunday and I’ve cooked some soup, marked some exams. I hardly know what counts as work these days. The ...

Public Picks 2017

Each year around this time we try to send our readers into summer with a thoughtfully curated list of the books that wowed, charmed, and provoked us most over the past 12 months. For this, the fifth ...

The Last Rock Star?

The most vivid passages of Born to Run recall a childhood that the author seems to have recognized as lost to him almost as soon as he could form a memory of it. Bruce Springsteen grew up “pretty …

When Stuart Hall Was White

I do not recall when I discovered that Stuart Hall was black. Growing up in Britain as neoliberalism first began to take shape under the rule of Margaret Thatcher, I found that Hall’s work helped me …

Cuba’s Next Chapter

In April 2016, Cuba’s Communist Party (PCC) convened its Seventh Party Congress. Sprinkled throughout the published proceedings were a few attempts at levity by the otherwise laconic Raúl Castro. One ...

The Holocene Hangover

As a child growing up in the early 1980s, I often daydreamed of space exploration and interstellar frontiers. The leap into outer space seemed tantalizingly close. In the science fiction stories I ...

The Mortal Marx

In the mid-1860s, as an anxious and ailing Karl Marx worked on the 30-page essay that would billow into Das Kapital, his daughter Eleanor—“Tussy”—would play under his desk. With her dolls, kittens ...

Boss Poet

Little has changed since Bruce Springsteen explained the origin of his song “Thunder Road” to a seething crowd at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey, on September 19, 1978. “There was this ...

The Intrusion Artist

By the late ’50s, when he was already widely considered one of France’s finest filmmakers, Robert Bresson would confess in interviews that he hardly ever went to the movies. There was something about ...

All About My Mother

In her canonical 1939 essay, “A Sketch of the Past,” Virginia Woolf wonders how a coherent past may be reconstructed from countless angles, styles, and past selves. How do we choose from so many ...

Anthropocene and Empire

In the autumn of 1839, an unusually strong tropical storm devastated coastal communities along the Bay of Bengal in what was then the English East India Company’s premier settlement. A decade later ...

Rape Culture Syllabus

I just start kissing them. Just kiss—I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Whatever you want. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.   —Donald ...