Los Angeles Review of Books

@LAReviewofBooks | A literary review journal covering the national and international book scenes.

Popular Feminism: The Scandal of the Comeback Story

<i>This is the third installment in a bi-monthly column that will explore some of the different cultural facets of popular feminism, the #MeToo</i> …

Sexual Harassment

Against Ecological Triage

THE PAST YEAR has been a rough one for conservation. Since last January, the Trump administration has handed the Environmental Protection Agency over …

Habitats

Wim Wenders on Pope Francis: The Man and His Words - Los Angeles Review of Books

Wim Wenders, one of cinema’s greatest living directors, drops by to tell co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf the astonishing story behind his new …

Pope Francis

Religion Goes to the Movies

MOVIEGOERS COULD NOT HELP but have noticed the spate of popular films dealing with religious themes and myths released in recent decades. From …

Framing

The New Primitives

THE IDEA FOR the Na’vi, the made-up humanoid species indigenous to the planet Pandora in James Cameron’s 2009 primitivist blockbuster <i>Avatar</i>, came to …

Hunter Gatherers

Hong Sang-soo’s Dream Time

“TIME IS NOT a real thing,” one character tells another in Hong Sang-soo’s 2014 film, <i>Hill of Freedom</i>. “Our brain makes up the mind frame of time …

Asia

Higher Loyalty? James Comey and the Failure of Leadership

FOR JAMES COMEY, it was a pivotal moment. The rule of law and the very integrity of the government were, he thought, at stake. The president of the …

Donald Trump

The Court’s Supreme Injustice

PAUL FINKELMAN is an anomaly: a historian with no law degree who’s held chairs or fellowships at numerous law schools, testified as an expert witness …

Black History

The Words We Don’t Use: On Eviatar Zerubavel’s “Taken for Granted: The Remarkable Power of the Unremarkable”

LANGUAGE BETRAYS US.<p>Language makes us mean. It tricks us into revealing what we think to others. It tricks us into saying things we didn’t even know …

Black Lives Matter

In the Snatches of Free Time: On Collecting Roland Barthes

IN AN 1885 letter to Paul Verlaine, Stéphane Mallarmé grumbled that all the thousands of bits, shreds, and fragments he had written over the years …

Literature

Saving the World with Metaphor: Toward an Ecological Poetics

RECENTLY, A GOOD FRIEND who has practiced and taught transcendental meditation for many years told me a story about a trip to India on the occasion …

Economic Data

“The Hazards of Good Fortune,” Part III

<i>This is Part III of</i> LARB<i>’s serialization of Seth Greenland’s forthcoming novel,</i> The Hazards of Good Fortune. <i>Greenland’s novel follows Jay Gladstone</i> …

Charles Barkley

A Chameleonic Career

CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT FROM his party’s recent San Diego convention was the state’s top Democrat, the longest serving governor in its history, a man …

Jerry Brown

Feminism’s Styles

LIKE HANNAH ARENDT IN her preface to <i>Men in Dark Times</i> (1968), Deborah Nelson concedes that the six women whose careers are canvassed in her 2017 book</i> …

Feminism

The Serial Killer as a Marketing Genius

THE HEADQUARTERS of the <i>San Francisco Chronicle</i> announces itself with a six-story clock tower; the whole edifice looms above Mission Street like a …

Crime

There Will Always Be More “Angels”

THE FIRST-EVER Broadway revival of Tony Kushner’s <i>Angels in America</i> recently opened at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York City. The production, …

Angels in America

Histories of Violence: Nonviolence and the Ghost of Fascism

<i>THIS IS THE 20th in a series of dialogues with artists, writers, and critical thinkers on the question of violence. This conversation is with Todd</i> …

Non-violence

“The Dramatis Personae of Our Lives”: On “A Bountiful Harvest: The Correspondence of Anthony Hecht and William L. MacDonald”

FRIENDSHIPS ARE AUTONOMOUS REGIONS with their own languages, folkways, and treacheries. Old friends are telepathic and get each other’s jokes. What …

Literature

An American Literary Hero’s Complicated Homecoming

ON DECEMBER 25, 1956, 30-year-old Harper Lee received a Christmas gift that is the stuff of dreams for aspiring writers: “You have one year off from …

Books

William S. Burroughs and the Biosphere, 1974–1997

I DISCOVERED <i>Naked Lunch</i> when I was 14. While babysitting, I excavated a copy hidden behind Henry Miller’s <i>The Air-Conditioned Nightmare</i> and read as …

Literature

The Dark Forest and Its Discontents: Cixin Liu’s “Death’s End”

AT ONE POINT in Kurt Vonnegut’s <i>God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater</i>, the guilt-ridden alcoholic millionaire narrator, Eliot Rosewater, crashes a science …

War

A New Hope, Ambiguously

IN VANDANA SINGH’S short story “Ruminations in an Alien Tongue,” a character thinks: “I am myself and yet not so. I contain multitudes and am a part …

Creative Writing

Happy Families: Lara Vapnyar on Vesna Goldsworthy’s Adaptation of Tolstoy in “Monsieur Ka”

“ALL HAPPY FAMILIES are more or less dissimilar; all unhappy ones are more or less alike,” says a great Russian writer in the beginning of a famous …

Literature

“Monster Portraits”: An Exploration of Identity That’s Entirely Unique

WHEN I WAS IN middle school, I took a home economics class. It was my only exposure to sewing. But rather than learning to sew something practical …

Books

The Crass Class in Christine Schutt’s “Pure Hollywood”

BREVITY, TAUTNESS, RIGOR, SURPRISE: these are the commonly accepted qualities of a good short story, and all are on display in Christine Schutt’s new …

Creative Writing

LARB Radio Hour: Talking About Race with Ijeoma Oluo - Los Angeles Review of Books

Ijeoma Oluo, author of <i>So You Want to Talk About Race</i>, joined co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher for a discussion on race in America at The Los …

Books

The Ashtray Has Landed: The Case of Morris v. Kuhn

DURING THE PAST DECADES, Errol Morris has established himself as a distinguished filmmaker whose documentaries, notably <i>The Thin Blue Line</i>, have won …

University of Chicago

A Queer Pilgrimage to Crema

WE SAW THE FIRST SWASTIKA just outside of Crema, a sweet little city in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy. My wife pointed it out, leaning …

Literature

The Disappearance of the Subject: On Armen Avanessian’s “Miamification”

AT 45 YEARS OF AGE, Viennese writer Armen Avanessian has produced a large and thematically varied body of work located at the nexus of art and …

Predictions

Bach at the Burger King

AT THE CORNER of 8th and Market in San Francisco, by a shuttered subway escalator outside a Burger King, an unusual soundtrack plays. A beige …

Flute