American Culture

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The Inexpressible: Erica Trabold Interviewed by Kristina Tate
Five Plots Cover

The writer on Swedish Nebraska, the lyric essay, and brevity as a superpower. 

Beyond the Borders of American Realism: A Conversation by Jeff Jackson & Martin Riker
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A two-sided novel and a psychological road narrative, both books explore contemporary culture by channeling iconic literary traditions. 

Beach Read by Oscar Cuevas
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We lived in the constrictive belt of bible-thumpers, but I always wanted my life to unfurl like a beach read, the kind of life that conjures a certain ephemeral pleasure, baked between sand and sun, crashing waves far enough away so their fatal danger only registers as ambiance.

Fraught Engagement: Lucas Mann, author of Captive Audience by Nicholas Mancusi
Lucas

The writer on the artistic and emotional merits of reality TV. 

Darkness and Light: Dan Sheehan Interviewed by Sara Nović
Evstafiev Bosnia Cello

The Restless Souls novelist on reading his reviews, working as a medical equipment tester, and writing responsibly about war and trauma. 

One Poem by Sophie Robinson
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at dusk each day i like to think / of all my new friends in different parts / of the city jerking off / running baths / vaping weed    getting sober / running their mouths / & reading poetry aloud to one another.

Only Mei Guo Ren by Wendy Xu

When I was thirteen, two missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to the house to follow up on a conversation from the week before with my mother. 

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins by Hilton Als​
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The playwright discusses his formative years, rejuvenation of historical material, and how race is coded into theatergoing itself.

Colluding with the Hoax: A Conversation with Kevin Young by Adam Fitzgerald
Barnum Bailey

The writer of Bunk on American hucksterism, racism, plagiarism, and why we believe what we want to believe.

Between Then and Now: on Kara Walker and Ta-Nehisi Coates by Rabia Ashfaque
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Reminding us of what should never have been forgotten

Mike Wallace by Phillip Lopate
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In advance of the next installment of his extensive history of New York City, Wallace expounds on the pivotal early years of the twentieth century.

Rain Like Cotton by Jennifer Kabat
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Picture an area the size of Manhattan covered in sand. It rises and falls and disappears.

Harmony Holiday by Farid Matuk
Miles Davis Trumpets

“I don’t want the kind of career where everything is sensible and safe; I’d rather suffer through the anxiety of wondering where I’m going next than suffer the boredom of dancing in the same safe square.”

Portfolio by Sam Contis
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Contis explores the construction of myth, place, and masculine identity in the enduring imagery of the American West.

Take Note by Julia Bosson
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Unchanging times, in Joan Didion’s South and West

Ozark Millennials by Michelle Hogmire
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Disaffected drifting in Erika Carter’s Lucky You

Gone Below by J.T. Price
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Life and death in a mining town in Kevin Canty’s The Underworld

George Saunders by Sam Lipsyte
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Historical analogies between the Civil War period and our own time are plentiful in a conversation about the author’s much-anticipated first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo.

Sarah Gerard’s Sunshine State by Laura van den Berg
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Sarah Gerard’s essay collection, Sunshine State, embodies Florida’s unpredictability in the best sense.

Stephin Merritt by Franklin Bruno
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The prolific New York lyricist digs into songcraft on the occasion of his new autobiographical album, 50 Song Memoir.

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