Most of them are young and female—and their underground slam poetry is speaking truth to power in their conservative Arab culture.
Aysha, 25, stands at the front of a small, brightly lit room in Jabal Al Weibdeh, one of Amman’s oldest neighborhoods. The fluorescent light is somehow tempered by the apartment’s soft and eclectic furniture—a clumsy circle of wooden chairs and faded couches. Although it is filled with people, the room is silent, waiting for Aysha to begin to speak.“Tell your governments, the only kingdom my generation will bow to is the one between our temples,” she chants, her voice swelling in the tiny space, as the sound of snapping fingers cuts through the air.
From a harrowing pregnancy at the edge of the world to creationists’ last stand against science education, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
Thanksgiving in Mongolia Ariel Levy, The New Yorker A journalist’s harrowing, heartbreaking story of her miscarriage while on assignment in a remote corner of Asia.Why We’re Allowed to Hate Silicon Valley Evgeny Morozov, Frankfurter Allgemeine It knows how to talk about tools but is barely capable of talking about social, political, and economic systems that these tools enable and disable, amplify and pacify.The 40-Year Slump Harold Meyer, The American Prospect From 1947 to 1974, American workers brought home most of the wealth they produced.
She didn’t write about ‘Protecting the Heart of Christmas’ at all—instead, the eternally offended governor may have penned the perfect manual for another holiday altogether: Festivus.
Initially I planned to ignore this week’s release of Good Tidings and Great Joy, Sarah Palin’s book waging war on the war on Christmas. Few political hucksters milking the culture war for an easy buck peddle antics more shopworn than the annual fear-mongering that secularist Scrooges are coming for our creches.But then I couldn’t stop wondering: What happens when the Queen of Grievance takes up arms on behalf of the Prince of Peace’s birthday?I’ll tell you what happens.
What’s turned Los Angeles into a culinary boomtown? Chef Roy Choi and New Yorker staff writer Dana Goodyear know.
If you want to fall in love with Los Angeles, have a meal with Roy Choi and Dana Goodyear. That should do it.On paper Choi and Goodyear have little in common. Choi was born in South Korea and raised in Southern California; poor in Koreatown, better off in Anaheim, prosperous in Coto de Caza. Goodyear comes from WASPier, wider ranging stock: Princeton, Cleveland, London, Bethesda, St. Louis, New York, and finally, a few years ago, the upscale bohemia of Venice Beach.
Get out the whips and paddles, the ‘Fifty Shades’ flick will be rated NC-17. But there won't be Anastasia’s ‘Inner Goddess’ monologue. You know you want to read more.
In May 2011, Fifty Shades of Grey was released as an e-book, launching an immediate sensation. The trilogy, which started as Twilight fan fiction, was published by Random House a year later. In the series, author E.L. James describes the seduction of virginal college student Anastasia Steele by Christian Grey, a beautiful billionaire and secret sadomasochist. Fifty Shades went on to sell more than 90 million copies worldwide, ensuring that we’ll never look at a tie in the same way again.
American novelist Robert Stone writes bedtime stories of a kind that David Samuels has always liked—the kind that end badly. They discuss Stone’s new novel.
There was a time, a little more than a decade ago when I lost a thread that I had been following up until that point, and I was left with nothing. So I sat in a house by the ocean in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts and read all the novels that Robert Stone had then written—Hall of Mirrors, Dog Soldiers, A Flag for Sunrise, Children of Light, and Damascus Gate. They were bedtime stories I could trust—the kind that ended badly.I remember one day that I spent in a bathtub looking out at the ocean and re-reading the end of Outerbridge Reach.
In his new book, Columbia professor Josh Ruxin tells the tale of picking up and moving to deepest Rwanda, where he helped revitalize a village and fell in love with a little restaurant called Heaven.
From a cocktail party came a village.Veteran development worker and Columbia professor Josh Ruxin’s life-changing voyage began when one of those too-good-to-pass-up offers presented itself at a rooftop gathering in New York City. A donor and admirer of his entrepreneurial company, Health Builders, offered him the funds to build a real-life prototype of a perfectly developed sustainable village. It was in the fledgling days of the Millennium Villages project—a collaboration between the United Nations and Columbia University’s Earth Institute—and though no village was yet slated to take root in Rwanda, it was ideal ground to break.
When a man stumbled on the remains of a downed American plane in the Pacific, it ignited an obsession in him to discover the story of these lost pilots. A new book tells his story to find their remains.
It takes nothing away from Wil Hylton say that his subject, Pat Scannon, is a reporter’s dream. Scannon was a medical researcher who became obsessed in 1993 with finding several American pilots who disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean in World War II. He, not Hylton, the author of Vanished, is the one who has done most of the research on the pilots and their excavation process. And it is he who discovered a mystery.But it takes an author to turn a mystery into a book, and Hylton does a fine job of it.
Our favorite Alaskan wants to rescue the holiday from angry atheists and liberal do-gooders, but what exactly does she have in mind? There’s scant talk of the Bible in her book.
The war on Christmas comes but once an election cycle, and with Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, fires the first shot. The volume is part call to arms against the “Scrooges” secularizing Christmas, part theological statement about the meaning of Jesus’s birth, and part recipe book.The problem with the holidays today, writes Palin, is they’ve been secularized. Nativity scenes can no longer be erected on government-owned property, people are afraid to say Merry Christmas, Christmas trees have become Holiday trees, and business owners have taken the Christ out of Christmas.
The 1,400 looted Nazi artworks found in a Munich apartment are just a small percentage of the thousands that disappeared during World War II. What else is out there waiting to be found?
Before the Nazis founded the ERR, their military unit dedicated to art and archive theft; before Hitler conceived of converting the entirety of his boyhood town of Linz, Austria into a “super-museum” containing every important artwork in the world; and long before the Allied armies, aided by the Monuments Men, liberated hundreds of thousands of looted artworks, the Nazis were stealing from their own people. Thanks to George Clooney’s upcoming film, a fictional drama based on historical fact (but bending it to the will of Hollywood), the world has become familiar with the “Monuments Men:” a group of several-hundred Allied officers from the art community, who were charged with locating, protecting, and recovering art and monuments that were in the line of fire during the Second World War.
If you want to understand Russia since the fall of the Berlin Wall, you can start by reading Martin Cruz Smith’s Arkady Renko detective series. Sarah Weinman reviews the latest—and says Smith’s stately pacing makes them all the better.
My favorite crime novel series, I've come to realize, take sustained breaks between installments. The book-a-year crew don't necessarily produce perpetual pablum, but the annual schedule rewards consistency to the point of sameness, and entertainment value over more substantive measures.More breathing room between books, however, gives writers more time to infuse their series with something extra. Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett cast such giant shadows over crime fiction, spawning innumerable imitators and literary descendants, that one forgets each wrote a scant number of books—seven and one—featuring their respective iconic private detectives, Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade.
The ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ author talks about works of art that inspire her, watching Scarlett Johansson—and the ‘Breaking Bad’ finale.
Describe your morning routine. Okay. This is assuming I’m having a productive writing day! A lot of the time that doesn’t happen. A good day? I get up, I wake my teenage son up, we have breakfast, and he leaves at 8. That’s the cue for me to go to my office. My writing life has shifted slightly over the years, but what works best for me now is if I start writing immediately. I’ll check my email to make sure there’s nothing I need to deal with right away, then I read what I’ve written the day before.
She’s slamming ‘angry atheists’ and Christie’s ‘extreme’ weight—and the ex-governor’s also promoting her book in key GOP primary districts. Can she swing the races for the Tea Party?
It may look like a regular book tour, complete with stops at the Walmart Supercenter in Wausau, Wisconsin, and Barnes & Noble bookstores from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to Bloomington, Minnesota, and some few choice TV hits on the Today show, CNN, and Fox & Friends.But when Sarah Palin embarked on her own 15-city swing Tuesday in Easton, Pennsylvania, she plunged herself into the heart of a debate roiling the Republican Party between the moderate establishment on one hand and Tea Party fist-raisers on the other.
The Southern writer’s religious zeal was off-putting to a lot of her peers, but a newly discovered prayer journal reveals why she needed God in her writing.
If a myth is built around an author, her most intimate thoughts become worthy of a hardcover. Flannery O’Connor is certainly the stuff of myth. Born Mary Flannery O’Connor in 1925 to Irish Catholic parents in Savannah, Georgia, she kept her full name until she began publishing stories and novels, an ambition that was initially second to her desire to be a cartoonist like James Thurber. By all her peers’ accounts, she was “weird” and “wry,” sometimes merciless.
When the media went after the owners of a flooded nursing home, one lawyer stepped to abyss to defend them against and turn the case against the state over its poor preparations for Katrina.
When thirty-five old people in a nursing home drowned during the Hurricane Katrina flood, Louisiana officials launched a manhunt for the owners, Sal and Mabel Mangano. Nancy Grace thundered on CNN: “Now I’m hearing that these two owners that made money off all these elderly nursing home citizens were out shopping—shopping! —after all these elderlies died.”With nearly a million evacuees from the New Orleans area stuck in hotels, homes of friends, relatives, or public shelters, Grace gave volume to an anger of the masses, a spreading hostility stoked by the gross government failure everyone saw on television.
Two titans, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, strode across America’s Progressive era, but alas Doris Kearns Goodwin’s new book doesn’t capture the drama and excitement of these men and their times.
It is a truly extraordinary tale, one that, had Shakespeare lived another half millennium, might have furnished him material for at least one, if not two or three, more history plays. Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, born and bred members of the Republican Party, former comrades in political battle, are pulled apart by forces beyond their capacity to comprehend or control. One militantly ambitious for power, the other more judiciously so, they had as young men been called upon to serve their party and their nation, and done so admirably.
This week, a commando raid on occupied Crete, an opium-tinged mystery, and the story of one Russain nobleman’s attempts to expand the empire into California.
Rustication by Charles PalliserCharles Palliser (author of 1989’s million-seller The Quincunx) uses the opening pages of his first novel in over ten years, titled Rustication, to establish an interesting framing device: an author’s note (signed “CP”) explains that the following story is merely Palliser’s transcription of a Victorian journal that he found moldering in a records office somewhere. It’s unclear what point the device serves—couldn’t the story simply stand on its own?—until one realizes just how much Palliser likes to play with voyeuristic perspective, and add layers of confusion onto what might have at first appeared clear.
One fateful night in 2009 a team of Navy SEALs grabbed the Butcher of Fallujah—and then everything went wrong. This is the story of that night.
The pictures the SEALs saw were not great, but they were adequate. Al-Isawi would be recognizable mostly by the twisted scowl on his face, which was probably how he looked when he hanged the burned bodies of the Americans from the old bridge at Fallujah five years previously.But the key to positive identification was that stubby little finger on his left hand. “The guy with the stunted pinkie,” as Matt somewhat graphically observed, “that’s our target.
Anyone interested in war has read Michael Herr’s ‘Dispatches,’ ‘Matterhorn,’ and others, but what about these five books recommended by Jake Tapper? Doubt it.
I read war books before I started writing The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, but I dove into them during that project. (The paperback version came out last week.) I am as in awe of Dispatches, Matterhorn, and The Things They Carried as the next person, and I assume those interested in reading about war have libraries containing Hemingway and Heller. Blackhawk Down, We Were Soldiers Once…, A Rumor of War, Where Men Win Glory, War —I will assume you have those.
@GSElevator Loses Book Deal
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CHILL YOUR BONES
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