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.”
Harold Bloom turns eighty-five this year, which makes it all the more impressive that his forty-fifth book, The Daemon Knows, comes out this week. At Vulture, Amy Bloom (no relation) has tea and scones with the Yale professor, who talks about Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and why a critic called his new book “an invectorium.” You could also read Matt Hanson on his last volume of criticism.