Category: Books & Culture

July 26, 2019

The Battle Over the Soul of El Museo del Barrio

I n a hot Tuesday evening in June, a salsa band played on a stage set up outside El Museo del Barrio, at Fifth Avenue and 104th street. The road was closed to traffic for the Museum Mile Festival, an annual block party for the art institutions along that uptown stretch of Central Park. Gathered […]

May 5, 2019

Julius: The Story of a Premature Birth

The first hint that something was going wrong with Zoraida’s pregnancy came on the morning of Thursday, May 20, 2004. I got out of bed early to attend to our eighteen-month-old son, Marcus, who had woken up coughing. A few minutes later, Zoraida emerged from our bedroom. “I’m soaked,” she said, clutching at her pajamas. […]

December 19, 2018

Téa Obreht Reimagines the Western

Early in “Inland,” Téa Obreht’s new novel, we find the frontierswoman Nora Lark in the drought-stricken Arizona Territory, managing the fears of her seven-year-old son, Toby, who has discovered strange disturbances in the scrubland surrounding their homestead. The year is 1893. Toby has convinced himself that the tracks he’s found belong to some large fantastical […]

October 23, 2018

Charles Manson’s Musical Ambitions

Kids respond to music,” Charles Manson told the Rolling Stone reporters David Dalton and David Felton in a famous interview conducted a few months after the horrifying Manson Family murders, which took place on August 8-9, 1969. “They can hear it, they’re not so conditioned they can’t feel it. Music seldom gets to grownups. It gets through to the young […]

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