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Elsa’s Coming Out Party

In a world of pretentious dude film critics, Dana Stevens stands out as an acute observer and an approachable intellectual with a sense of humor, and we are grateful for her for all she does. But every once in a while a reader has to say, “WTF?” As in, “WTF? Dana Stevens hates movie makeovers?” READ MORE

For Emily M. Keeler, Who Interviewed the Prince of Pricks

2013 was the year of Edie WindsorWendy Davis, J Law, Beyonce, Malala and Alice Munro. Homeland CIA agent Carrie Mathison became a mom, Scandal fixer Olivia Pope regained one, and Ariel Levy wrote, in the year’s most intense literary hara kiri, about almost turning into one before losing both her baby and her relationship with her spouse. READ MORE

Closeted Characters, and the Books That Love Them

This feature is dedicated to the steelworkers of America. Keep reaching for that rainbow! READ MORE

The Weekly Scandal-Homeland Showdown: A Drawer Full of Pee Sticks

Last week on Scandal vs. Homeland: You should watch Chinatown. READ MORE

The Weekly Scandal-Homeland Showdown: Who Would Vote for Fitz?

Last week on Scandal vs. Homeland: You should watch Weeds. READ MORE

The Weekly Scandal-Homeland Showdown: How Do You Save a Heroine's Reputation?

Checking in on the third seasons of our favorite prestige TV dramas set in DC whose main characters are both high-powered, well-dressed, hyper-competent professional women who make questionable relationship choices while simultaneously saving the world. This week: “Game On” vs. “Say Hello to My Little Friend.” Caution: spoilers. READ MORE

Scandal vs. Homeland: The Weekly Showdown

Checking in on the third seasons of our favorite prestige TV dramas set in DC whose main characters are both high-powered, well-dressed, hyper-competent professional women who make questionable relationship choices while simultaneously saving the world. This week: “Tower of David” vs. “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington.” Caution: Spoilers. READ MORE

When a Man Writes a Woman

When men write women, the results are tiresome. Reading at random, you will occasionally come across a Lisbeth Salander, a Maria Dmitryevna Akhrosimova, or a Ma Joad, a character with interiority and what feels like her own life off the page. Far too often, though, when you open up a book by a male writer—even a good male writer, and occasionally even a great male writer—you encounter ladies who are a variation on one or more of four themes: virgin, whore, mother, bitch. Sometimes, the ladies begin as one (usually "virgin") and progress through the others by the end of the book, because character development! Emma Bovary holds the distinction of kind of being all four at once. (And, as I’ve argued, Daisy Buchanan does too.) READ MORE

Did We Live Up To Our Yearbook Pages?

Graduation season has, mercifully, just passed, and yearbooks—which capture for eternity the earnest sarcasm and sarcastic earnestness of our 18-year-old selves—are tucked away, to be cherished and cringed at for decades to come. What do the undimmed hopes of our teenage years, inscribed on the gravestones of our youth, say to us now, 10 or 20 years later? How accountable are we to our adolescent selves? What can we learn from our own time capsules, these postcards from the past? And what the hell were we thinking with all the abbreviations? The Hairpin reports. READ MORE

Daisy, You're a Drip, Dear: Detestable Literary Characters Who Are Not Technically Villains

Baz Lurhmann’s The Great Gatsby lindy-hopped away with over 50 million dollars this past weekend and inspired New York's Kathryn Schulz to put together a thought-provoking takedown of the source material: “Aesthetically overrated, psychologically vacant, and morally complacent,” she declared last week. READ MORE