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Tag: burnside

Brian Doherty

In the 1950s, comics meant POW! BAM! superheroes, family-friendly gags, and Sunday funnies, but in the 1960s, inspired by these strips and the satire of MAD magazine, a new generation of creators set out to subvert the medium, and with it, American culture. Their “comix,” spelled that way to distinguish the work from their dime-store contemporaries, presented tales of taboo sex, casual drug use, and a transgressive view of society. Embraced by hippies and legions of future creatives, this subgenre of comic books and strips was printed on out-of-date machinery, published in zines and underground newspapers, and distributed in head shops, in porno stores, and on street corners. Comix often ran afoul of the law, but that would not stop them from casting cultural ripples…

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Jon Raymond in Conversation With Leni Zumas

Denial (Simon & Schuster) is a futuristic thriller about climate change by Jon Raymond, the acclaimed screenwriter of First Cow, Meek’s Cutoff, and HBO’s Mildred Pierce. The year is 2052. Climate change has had a predictably devastating effect: Venice submerged, cyclones in Oklahoma, megafires in South America. Yet it could be much worse. Two decades earlier, the global protest movement known as the Upheavals helped break the planet’s fossil fuel dependency, and the subsequent Nuremberg-like Toronto Trials convicted the most powerful oil executives and lobbyists for crimes against the environment. Not all of them. A few executives escaped arrest and went into hiding, including pipeline mastermind Robert Cave. Now, a Pacific Northwest journalist named Jack Henry who works for a struggling media company has received…

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W. Kamau Bell & Kate Schatz in Conversation With Megan Rapinoe

W. Kamau Bell and Kate Schatz’s Do the Work! (Workman) is a hands-on workbook for anyone overwhelmed by racial injustice, who feels shocked by all the American histories they never learned, and who keeps asking the question “what can I DOOOOOO?!” Packed with humorous, thought-provoking activities — all are rooted in history and contemporary social justice concepts — Bell and Schatz’s new book helps readers move from “What can I do?” to… you know… actually doing the work. Revelatory and thought-provoking, their highly illustrated, highly informative interactive workbook gives readers a unique, hands-on understanding of systemic racism — and how we can dismantle it. Packed with activities, games, illustrations, comics, and eye-opening conversation, Do the Work! challenges readers to think critically and act effectively. Try…

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Mikel Jollett

Hollywood Park (Celadon) is a remarkable memoir of a tumultuous life. Mikel Jollett, frontman for The Airborne Toxic Event, was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. Yet, ultimately, his is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer. His story opens in an experimental commune in California, which later morphed into the Church of Synanon, one of the country’s most infamous and dangerous cults. Per the leader’s mandate, all children, including Jollett and his older brother, were separated from their parents when they were six months old, and handed over to the cult’s “School.” When…

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Elisa Albert in Conversation With Kimberly King Parsons

From an author whose writing has been praised as “blistering” (The New Yorker), “virtuosic” (The Washington Post), and “brilliant” (The New York Times) comes a provocative and entertaining novel about a woman who desperately wants a child but struggles to accept the use of assisted reproductive technology — a hilarious and ferocious send-up of feminism, fame, art, commerce, and autonomy. On the eve of her fourth album, singer-songwriter Aviva Rosner is plagued by infertility. The twist: as much as Aviva wants a child, she is wary of technological conception, and has poured her ambivalence into her music. As the album makes its way in the world, the shock of the response from fans and critics is at first exciting — and then invasive and strange.…

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Matthew Dickman in Conversation With Chelsea Bieker

Guided by acclaimed poet Matthew Dickman’s signature “clarity and ability to engage” (David Kirby, New York Times), Husbandry (W. W. Norton) is a love song from a father to his children. Written after a separation and during overwhelming single-fatherhood in the early days of COVID-19 lockdowns, Husbandry refuses romantic notions of parenting and embraces all its mess, anguish, humor, fear, boredom, and warmth. Dickman composes these poems entirely in vivid couplets that animate the various domestic pairs of broken-up parents, two sons, love and grief. He explores the terrain of his children’s dreams and nightmares, the almost primal fears that spill into his own, and the residual impacts of his parents’ failures. Threading his anxieties with bright moments of beauty and gratitude, the volume delights…

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Daniel Nieh

Victor Li is a man without a past. To his new employer, Mark, he’s just an anonymous hired hand to help with the dirty work. Together, they break into storage units that contain the possessions of the recently deported, pocketing whatever is worth selling. Only Victor and his sister, Jules, know that he’s a wanted man. Amid the backpacks and suitcases, Victor makes the find of a lifetime: a gem rare and valuable enough to change his fortunes in an instant. But selling it on the sly? Nearly impossible. Thankfully, its former owner, a woman named Song Fei, also left a book of cryptic notes — including the name of a gemstone dealer in Mexico City. When Victor and Mark cross the southern border, they…

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Jess Walter

From the author of Beautiful Ruins and The Cold Millions comes a stunning collection about those moments when everything changes — for the better, for the worse, for the outrageous — as a diverse cast of characters bounces from Italy to Idaho, questioning their roles in life and finding inspiration in the unlikeliest places. We all live like we’re famous now, curating our social media presences, performing our identities, withholding those parts of ourselves we don’t want others to see. In The Angel of Rome: And Other Stories (Harper), the riveting new collection of stories from Jess Walter, a teenage girl tries to live up to the image of her beautiful, missing mother. An elderly couple confronts the fiction writer eavesdropping on their conversation. A…

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Cecily Wong in Conversation With Kimberly King Parsons

Everybody’s heard of The Brightons. From rags to riches, sleepy Oregon to haute New York, they are the biracial Chinese American family that built Kaleidoscope, a glittering, ‘global bohemian’ shopping empire sourcing luxury goods from around the world. Statuesque, design savant, and family pet — eldest daughter Morgan Brighton is most celebrated of all. Yet despite her favored status, both within the family and in the press, nobody loves her more than Riley. Smart and nervy Riley Brighton — whose existence is forever eclipsed by her older sister’s presence. When a calamity dismantles the Brightons’ world, it is Riley who’s left with questions about her family that challenge her memory, identity, and loyalty. She sets off across the globe with an unlikely companion to seek…

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Kim Kelly in Conversation With Shane Burley

Fight Like Hell (Atria/One Signal) is a revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement, from independent journalist and Teen Vogue labor columnist Kim Kelly. Freed Black women organizing for protection in the Reconstruction-era South. Jewish immigrant garment workers braving deadly conditions for a sliver of independence. Asian American fieldworkers rejecting government-sanctioned indentured servitude across the Pacific. Incarcerated workers advocating for basic human rights and fair wages. The queer Black labor leader who helped orchestrate America’s civil rights movement. These are only some of the working-class heroes who propelled American labor’s relentless push for fairness and equal protection under the law. The names and faces of countless silenced, misrepresented, or forgotten leaders have been erased by time as a privileged few decide which stories…

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