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Readings

Excerpts from the best and most bizarre new books, testimonies, government documents, journals, news reports, speeches, and letters.

Permanent Record

From behaviors for which K–12 teachers in the United States have been arrested since 2018, as described in news reports. Bringing a bag of wine to class Taking shots of…

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Color Theory

From Afropessimism, which will be published this month by Liveright. In February 2001, I attended the Race Rave conference at the University of California, Santa Cruz, with my wife, Alice.…

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Becoming Human

From The Celestial Hunter, which will be published this month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Translated from the Italian. In the time of the Great Raven even the invisible was…

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Sorry to Bother You

From purposes of phone calls made by New York City residents to 3-1-1, a help line for information and non-emergency government services.  To discuss a neighbor who hangs underwear out…

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On Forgetting

From Synthesizing Gravity, a collection of essays, which will be published this month by Grove Press. It is easy to be sentimental about memory because of its powers to intensify.…

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Lost and Found

From My Meteorite, which was published last month by Penguin Books. Dodge is a sculptor and video artist. I always knew I was adopted, and since I was born in…

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Terms of Art

From “A Short Lexicon of Milan Kundera,” an essay published in Revue des deux mondes in March to mark Kundera’s ninetieth birthday. Noiville is a novelist and a staff writer…

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After I Turn Sixty-Nine

From Genghis Chan on Drums, which will be published next year by Omnidawn. I don’t imagine that a chariot is hurrying near but that a sleek car is speeding up…

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Ride or Die

From The Last Taxi Driver. The novel, which tells the story of a cab company in Northern Mississippi, was published last month by Tin House Books. They never tell you…

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Daydream Believer

From Magnetized: Conversations with a Serial Killer, a collection of interviews he conducted with convicted murderer Ricardo Melogno, which will be published in June by Catapult. In 1982, at the…

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Lost Boys

From a list of terms defined by the U.S. Department of Defense in a report on men who identify as involuntary celibates, or incels. Elliot Rodger was a twenty-­two-year-old self-described…

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Electric

From a manuscript in progress. In the dream I wrote this poem called “Electric.” Somehow I got the t in the middle of the title to wiggle. All the words…

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Troys and Girls

From Norma Jeane Baker of Troy, a version of Euripides’ Helen, published last month by New Directions. The play was performed last spring at the Shed’s Griffin Theater, in New…

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At the Mind’s Limits

From transcripts of interviews conducted by David Stavrou with Sayragul Sauytbay, a Uighur woman from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, where the United Nations estimates that between one…

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Koftaesque

Witold Szab?owski From an account told to Witold Szab?owski by Abu Ali, a former cook for Saddam Hussein. The story is included in Szab?owski’s book How to Feed a Dictator:…

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Nighthawks at the Dunkin’

From The Brilliant Darkness, out last month from W. W. Norton. The book is composed of short essays about encounters Sharlet had while photographing strangers. mike All photos by Jeff Sharlet The…

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Moby Sick

From items found in the stomachs of dead whales since 2010, as described in news reports. Fishing nets Bundles of rope Corrugated tubing Duct tape Shopping bags Banana bags Rice…

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Mr. Me Too

From lyrics referring to Donald Trump in rap songs catalogued by Genius.com. Rich Well-known Over-tan Orange Pink All-American High drama Living large On the links On the news Making big…

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Ring of Fire

From “Phone Calls from the Apocalypse,” an essay in the collection Thin Places, which will be published this month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Read More

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A Walk to Remember

From At the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life, published this month by W. W. Norton. When I imagine my death, I do not see myself surrounded…

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Spellbound

From the novel Hurricane Season, which will be published this month by New Directions. They say she never really died, because witches don’t go without a fight. They say that,…

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Search and Destroy

By Joanne McNeil, from Lurking: How a Person Became a User, published this month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. A user of Google products might be put off by the…

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“Usine Alstom Belfort Photo No. 5 Halle Alternateurs”

“Usine Alstom Belfort Photo No. 5 Halle Alternateurs,” a photograph by Stéphane Couturier, whose work was on view in January at Galerie Kornfeld, in Berlin. Courtesy the artist and Christophe…

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Baby Boomers

From actions of hosts and attendees at gender-­reveal parties since 2017. Struck a grandfather in the face with a baseball filled with blue powderBroke an ankle kicking a football filled…

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Invisible Man

From a deposition given last year by Dominic Ryan, the general manager of Founders Brewing Company, to Jack Schulz, a lawyer for Tracy Evans. In 2018, Evans, an employee at…

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Blue Isabelle and I Stop, I Look

Blue Isabelle and I Stop, I Look, mixed-media artworks by Sarah Amos, whose work will be on view in March at Heather Gaudio Fine Art, in New Canaan, Connecticut. Courtesy…

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“Thief of the Tree”

“Thief of the Tree,” a photograph by Michael Lundgren, whose monograph Geomancy was published in September by Stanley/Barker. © The artist. Courtesy Stanley/Barker and Euqinom Gallery, San Francisco

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| View All Issues |

May 2020