For the 25th anniversary of Howard Cruse‘s powerful graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, (which you can read an excerpt of here) Alison Bechdel reflects on Cruse’s impressive portrayal of his place in history. “Stuck Rubber Baby is a story, but it’s also a history—or perhaps more accurately a story about how history happens, one person at a time,” Bechdel writes. “What does it take to transcend our isolation and our particular internalized oppressions to touch—and change—the outside world? As Toland Polk begins to engage truthfully with his inner self, his outer self is able to connect with others more authentically and powerfully. Actually, it’s just as accurate to put this the other way around, because those two actions are inextricable from one another.”
Go Jane Give organized the “#Read4Refugees” social media campaign, encouraging users to raise awareness and funds for refugee issues. Over the past month, numerous well-known authors have joined in, including Junot Díaz, Jodi Picoult, Sue Monk Kidd, and Sherman Alexie, among others.
“In the twenty-first century, the lyric essay at its worst is a utility or an app; at its best, it’s a cross-hatch of a genre in which things cross over; implicitly chiasmic, it’s a space in which incompatible discourses are allowed to intermingle; wherein poetry and prose create productive frictions, enabling a new, unnatural form, illegible and readable for the first time.” Mary Cappello writes about the lyric essay and Djuna Barnes.
Self-styled music critic Patrick Bateman, the protagonist of Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel American Psycho, certainly had a lot to say about 80s mainstays like Genesis and Huey Lewis and the News. Over at The New Inquiry, J. Temperance argues for Steve Winwood as Patrick Bateman’s musical doppelgänger. Go ahead and take a look at this essay by Bill Morris of The Millions on The Canyons, a film for which Ellis wrote the screenplay.
Winter’s Bone author Daniel Woodrell has a new book out, and to mark the occasion, he talks with Dwyer Murphy of Guernica about his upcoming book tour, Southern poverty and the rejections Winter’s Bone received. Sample quote: “When my family started doing better and my parents encouraged my brothers and me to succeed beyond them, we started asking why our parents were telling us to strive so hard to live in these neighborhoods full of people they clearly resented—and feared too, I think.”