This HAS to be the week’s lead story.
A promotional event for a book examining the role slavery played leading up to the Battle of the Alamo that was scheduled at the Bullock Texas State History Museum on Thursday evening was abruptly canceled three and a half hours before it was scheduled to begin.
“Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick confirmed he called for the event to be canceled.”
Last week I talked about how much I like Michael Connelly’s books about detective Harry Bosch and the Amazon Prime series based on the novels. Here Mike Avila talks with the cast and producers of the Amazon series, which he calls “well regarded for its crime noir aesthetic as well as its attention to detail regarding police work. . . [and] also adored by a passionate fanbase for its thoughtful characterization.”
Ann Powers reports for NPR on Joni Mitchell’s album Blue, which came out in 1971, with an emphasis on its storytelling:
the creative process is as mundane as it is miraculous. It’s dribs and drabs and then a rush and then back to staring at the ceiling, wondering if the rush will come back. Blue is an album about working through something — a heartache, people say. But it’s just as much a document of the process of sharing that heartache, an inquiry into personal storytelling itself. Until Blue, Mitchell was getting there, but she hadn’t wholly figured out what she alone could say. That’s because what each person alone can say is, in its pure state, incommunicable. Stories are what get left behind as their tellers keep living and evolving. They’re always inconclusive.
I’ve just begun reading Kelsey McKinney’s recently released debut novel, God Spare the Girls, which is an out-of-my-comfort-zone book for me (more on that in a later post), so I was drawn to this reading list that promises some good books. And a bonus for me is that I haven’t read any of these books. How about you?
Here’s a different approach to literary discussion: “In her monthly column The Moon in Full, Nina MacLaughlin illuminates humanity’s long-standing lunar fascination. Each installment is published in advance of the full moon.”
Check this out if you’re interested in the relationship between literature and mythology.
Gene Seymour admits to a fascination with “alternate reality” stories. As much as Seymour likes such stories, he worries that someone might mistake Colson Whitehead’s novel The Underground Railroad for “honest-to-Pete factual data”:
one of the dividends of alternate history, when it’s rendered well, is how it can illuminate actual things and events that happened in the past and quite often linger on in the present. To be drawn into such stories doesn’t mean you’re being taken. Sometimes, they wise you up.
First-wave feminists focused on the burning issue of their day — suffrage. The second wave is focused on cultural critique. Our motto is “the personal is political,” and what could be more personal, or more provocative, than sex?
One problem: We can’t agree on what, exactly, feminist sex is.
“The writer’s signature style of ending—a final, thrilling note—has the touch of magic that distinguishes the form at its best.”
Louis Menand considers both the life and the literary output of William Sidney Porter, who published stories under the name O. Henry.
© 2021 by Mary Daniels Brown