Eve Babitz and the Trouble With Taquitos

Even someone as “harmless” and carefreely narcissistic as Eve Babitz might not have made it in today’s literary scene. As her resurgence reached a crescendo in 2018, with Emma Roberts touting Sex and Rage as her book club choice (oy vey) for the summer of ’17 and Counterpoint re-issuing a lesser known work called Black Swans the year after, on the heels of the rediscovered … Continue reading Eve Babitz and the Trouble With Taquitos

We Have Always Lived in the Castle: The Ideal Halloween in Lockdown Read

Because Shirley Jackson never disappoints when it comes to specializing in chilling tales detailing the macabre nature of existence and humanity itself, it is almost impossible to choose a favorite work of hers for the purposes of “celebrating” Halloween. Of course, for many, celebrations of this pagan holiday have been essentially cancelled due to, well, you know. But because this year is so specific with … Continue reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle: The Ideal Halloween in Lockdown Read

A Tale of Two Personalities: Elaine Brown’s A Taste of Power by Zeke Greenwald

A more relevant read than ever, Elaine Brown’s 1992 memoir, A Taste of Power, covers her early life and all her years in the Black Panther Party. Growing up in Philadelphia before moving to Oakland, Brown was forced to bifurcate into two people: someone who could hang with the black girls after school and someone who could hang with the Jewish girls during school. Her … Continue reading A Tale of Two Personalities: Elaine Brown’s A Taste of Power by Zeke Greenwald

The Ever-Pertinent Theme of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery

The joys of a public stoning may have evolved into more metaphorical methods, but the “tradition” remains very much alive in the present. Just as it was in Shirley Jackson’s own time, having released “The Lottery” in the summer of 1948. With World War II still being freshly ended, there remained the dark pall of those dictators who rose to prominence as a result of … Continue reading The Ever-Pertinent Theme of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery

The Abandonment of California by Joan Didion: A Comparative Glance at Run River and Where I Was From

In an alternate universe, perhaps Joan Didion herself might have become some version of Lily Knight, the dissatisfied, cuckolding Sacramento girl who couldn’t seem to fathom how to be a good wife to the man who loved her. Without her writing talent as a ticket out of town, Didion could have easily become just another Golden State tragedy, damned to a lifetime of complacence and … Continue reading The Abandonment of California by Joan Didion: A Comparative Glance at Run River and Where I Was From

I’m Thinking of Ending Things Is the Unvarnished Exploration of What It Means to Be Alone, And The Inherent Meaninglessness of Life When You Are

Thinking about it now, there was probably no one else in the world besides Charlie Kaufman who could have adapted Iain Reid’s surreal 2016 novel, I’m Thinking of Ending Things. No one with the same outlook on life or ability to manifest the psychological with such aesthetic deftness. With renewed interest in the source material thanks to the recent release of its film version, it … Continue reading I’m Thinking of Ending Things Is the Unvarnished Exploration of What It Means to Be Alone, And The Inherent Meaninglessness of Life When You Are

“At Least I Had Fun, I Suppose”: Kevin Crowe’s No Home In This World by Ewa Mazierska

Fly on the Wall Press, publisher of the collection No Home in This World by Kevin Crowe, presents itself as a “publisher with a conscience.” This description also suits its author, introduced as a “lifelong socialist, [who] has over the years been involved in campaigning on a wide range of issues, including homelessness, anti-war initiatives, trade union rights, freedom of speech, HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ rights.” … Continue reading “At Least I Had Fun, I Suppose”: Kevin Crowe’s No Home In This World by Ewa Mazierska

Harry Potter Was Always Pedestrian & J.K. Rowling’s Views Match That

I never fucked with Harry Potter. At least not in the same incredibly overzealous way other people did for most of the 00s. I was a casual peruser after the first book (which didn’t hook me)–just to see what, exactly, all the fuss was about this cultural phenomenon that had managed to get so many otherwise illiterate Americans to read. Clearly, that illiteracy still applied … Continue reading Harry Potter Was Always Pedestrian & J.K. Rowling’s Views Match That

The Sarah Palins Will Keep Coming: On the Banning of Certain Classic Literature in Alaska

Alaska, already markedly lacking in being acknowledged (so much so that people still seem to think that Texas is the largest state) despite its storied history of having among the highest suicide rates in the U.S. and being sold for the price of a song (7.2 million dollars) by the Russians in 1912, has managed to re-register on people’s radar after a recent and rather … Continue reading The Sarah Palins Will Keep Coming: On the Banning of Certain Classic Literature in Alaska

We Are All Gregor Samsa Now

Few knew better than Franz Kafka that life, if nothing else, is an inexplicably cruel joke. Seemingly orchestrated by an invisible sadist (sometimes called God). That the very term “Kafkaesque” is designed to connote a nightmarish tableau in which all signs of logic and reason have vanished in favor of convoluted blether is telling of his impact on our lives. Our lives in which dealing … Continue reading We Are All Gregor Samsa Now