A non-expert's suggestions for books that are fun to read/reread whenever you want the chills.
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Steven Millhauser, We Others: New & Selected Stories
This is one of my favorite books, as lucid and eerie as a diorama; as Jonathan Lethem says, Millhauser's style is "coolly feverish, drawing equally on Nabokovian rapture, Borgesian enigma and the plain-spoken white-picket-fence wistfulness of Sherwood Anderson." We Others covers a lot of territory—futurist nightmare, teenage romance with a Bataille-esque hint of sexual horror, Victorian inventors, Escherian funhouses, small-town disappearances and mysteries—but throughout, it's consistently enchanted, and remarkably kind. Here's a [...]
Five days have passed since the Breaking Bad series finale, and one question lingers: What happened to Huell? The bodyguard was last seen in a safe house, waiting for his rescue. Here, we imagine five New Yorker writers' theories on his fate.
Oh, to be a person of such stature to require a person of even more commanding stature: a bodyguard! A friend of mine who teaches Tumblr to babies (DUMBLO, $75/class), had recently come into the way of some death threats; I called him to inquire. "One thing that's great about teaching classes for babies," he said, [...]
Arisce Wanzer lives in New York and is signed to the BMG Agency. Right now Fashion Week is putting her to work.
Let's start from the beginning. Tell me about your childhood?
I'm from Northern Virginia, which is a wonderful place to grow up. My family was very supportive, and everything was really normal. I had a brother, and he played with his G.I. Joes, and I played with my Barbies, and I had two sisters too, and we were just all different and it was fine.
Any struggle that I had growing up was always internal rather than external. Once I got to [...]
Are you ready for this? I wasn't. But I'm also not ready to face the reality that Christmas is in two weeks and I don't have presents for anyone yet. Rather than sensibly consider the very near future, let's strap ourselves down for a second and think about the past with this 62-year-old Christmas issue of Woman's Day, which shall guide us through the holiday season like an old-timey lantern fueled not with kerosene but with medium-grade crack.
So how does the holiday spirit look in 1951? First, like a G.E. clock called "The Clansman":
And a thirty-year-old dude carrying a Santa bag full of cigarettes, who's [...]
Sean Lanigan is soon to be ordained in the Episcopal Church and is building a new spiritual community for young adults in Long Beach, California: www.beachprogressives.org.
So we’re meeting because you went to Yale Divinity School with Jessica Misener!
Yes! Divinity school was interesting. Great, and interesting, and everyone was having crises all the time, including me. I’d come out when I was 16, and all throughout college I was trying to figure out my relationship with God. Everyone said, “Go to divinity school and you’ll figure it out.” And of course, divinity school is both a really good and really bad place [...]
Interview with Dr. Susan Robinson, One of the Last Four Doctors in America to Openly Provide Third-Trimester Abortions
There are only four American doctors left who openly include third-trimester abortion in their practice. They're profiled in the new documentary After Tiller, which opens in New York tonight. All four of these doctors were close friends and colleagues of Dr. George Tiller, who was assassinated in Kansas in May 2009, and they take on significant personal risks in their fight to keep late abortion available; they believe in their work deeply, while understanding that many people view it as murder. Fewer than 1% of abortions in this country are performed in the third trimester. It's illegal in all but 9 states, and according to a 2011 Gallup [...]
Caridad is a 33-year-old teacher who lives in Los Angeles. Were you raised in a religious tradition? Not really. If anything, Buddhist. My grandma was a white Jewish lady who converted to Buddhism when she married my grandpa, a Japanese guy. She actually became a Zen priest herself later in life. In the Kalama Sutta, the Buddha discouraged blind dogma to any tradition—including Buddhism—so my family is very supportive of my religious choice.
When and how did you get interested in Santeria? My late teens. I learned about it because of a project I did in community college in Oakland, a class called “Art and Thought in [...]
I picked up this March 1950 issue of McCall's magazine in a thrift store a few weeks back and it's a real delight. There's an advice column written by Eleanor Roosevelt (sample question: "Why is it necessary to have guards around President Roosevelt's grave?", which she answers by saying, "I have nothing to do with the management of the government property at Hyde Park"), as well as an Ask the Doctor feature (sample question: "Is measles a dangerous disease?", which the doctor answers, "Yes. Measles can be a serious disease. Don't say, 'It's nothing but measles'").
So you know the exact incident in which you contracted HIV.
Yeah. It was at this bathhouse in Portland.
Up till then you'd been getting checked regularly?
Totally. No more than six months between tests since I was 16.
So tell me about the encounter and how you figured it out.
It was August of 2005. I'm 23, and I'd had a few experiences of getting with HIV-positive dudes without a condom, [...]