Albert L Swepson Jr

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The demons and obsessions of jazz genius Thelonious Monk

Consider this: both Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk were born in 1917. The creative DNA and brilliance of each musician were integral to the birth of modern jazz. For countless hours, weeks and months during the early 1940s they played, studied, argued and innovated together, along with Charlie …

Piano

The Astros are going to the World Series, so let’s celebrate that incredible Alex Bregman throw

The Astros won the pennant, and it might have been a daring, dumb, brilliant throw that got them there.<p>The Houston Astros, the butt of every baseball joke just a few years ago, are going to the World Series. There are a lot of reasons for this. They had to lose so many games that they were able to …

Baseball

At 79, David Hockney Isn't Keen On Parties, But Still Paints Every Day

Painter David Hockney once said, "It is very good advice to believe only what an artist <i>does</i>, rather than what he <i>says</i> about his work." On Thursday in London, a major retrospective at Tate Britain will give visitors the chance to see 60 years of the English artist's "doings."<p>Oils, acrylics, sketches, …

Art

Rita Dove: “The first thing that goes when a government becomes a tyranny are words”

Salon talks to poet Rita Dove about why degrading language and the arts threatens democracy and humanity<p>There are few writers worthy of such high distinction, but to read Rita Dove is to encounter the transformative. Her feeling comes in aid of your feeling. Suddenly, you believe you have undergone …

20 Festive Brunch Recipes to Make This Weekend

All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.<p>On those nice, luxurious days when you have more time in the morning (read: the weekend), put in a …

Boxing Fidel

It is a warm, breezy, palm-flapping winter evening in Havana, and the leading restaurants are crowded with tourists from Europe, Asia, and South America being serenaded by guitarists relentlessly singing <i>"Guan-tan-a-mera...guajira...Guan-tan-a-mera"</i> and at the Café Cantante there are clamorous salsa …

Cuba

The Passion of Martin Scorsese

A man was on a train in Japan, reading a novel set in Japan. The train slid past the mountains, bound for Kyoto, where the man, bearded, bright-eyed, was headed. The year was 1989. The train was a bullet train.<p>The man on the train was in a quandary, and the man in the novel he was reading was in a …

Universal Pictures

Linda Grant: ‘I can't write after lunch, in a public place, or when anyone is in the house'

I’ve always been a bit averse to being precious about writing. Where I work is an office not a study, basically a second bedroom at home, a narrow sliver in a small postwar block of flats on a hill in north London facing two much larger blocks slightly hidden by London plane trees which are …

North London

9 Rules For Writing Dialogue | Novel Writing Help

Want to know the most important thing about writing dialogue in fiction? If it sounds like a conversation you'd hear in the real world, you've gone …

9 Crippling Beliefs Holding Writers Back From Writing Their Book (and How to Overcome Them)

Note: This is a guest post by Ayodeji Awosika. He is a writing coach who helps aspiring writers develop confidence, build writing habits, and launch …

Writing

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Dating Tips For Workaholics

Are you a workaholic trying to wade into the dating pool? To workaholics, it’s often a puzzle to know what led to the other—is it your dead personal …

Relationships

I Published My Debut Novel to Critical Acclaim—and Then I Promptly Went Broke

On the dark side of literary fame.<p>Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid authors came out last month. My name's not on it and it probably never will be. My name is, however, on a $786 utility bill that just arrived in the mail. Summer in Texas is expensive, even when you set the thermostat at 85 …

The roster

The Undefeated guide to the blackest fall in television ever<p><i>The first Golden Age of Television kicked off as America was transitioning out of radio</i> …

TV

Debut Novel Takes On The American Dream ... Racism, Recession And All

When the financial crisis hit in 2008, Imbolo Mbue lost her job. "I was very disillusioned about America ..." she tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "I was unemployed for over a year and a half."<p>Originally from Limbe, Cameroon, Mbue came to U.S. to go to college. After losing her job, she had to start over …

Penguin Random House

Marvel Director Explains Why Zendaya Is Actually the Perfect Mary Jane Watson

Take that, trolls.<p>When news broke that Zendaya would likely be playing Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming, we were ecstatic. She's talented, gorgeous, and spunky as hell—aka a PERFECT Mary Jane.<p>But there were some people on the great wide web who weren't as excited about the announcement. …

A Hostage's Escape From ISIS

<i>The following is an extract from Puk Damsgård’s story of Danish photographer Daniel Rye Ottosen’s 13 months in ISIS captivity in northern Syria. This</i> …

Why is the Black Lives Matter movement happening now?

Eight years ago, at the dawn of the Obama era, pundits seriously debated whether the election of the nation's first black president would mark an end to the country's long history of racial inequality. Weeks after Obama was elected, Forbes Magazine jubilantly published an editorial headlined …

Black Lives Matter

“Writing Is an Act of Pride”: A Conversation with Elena Ferrante

T_he following is an excerpt from an e-mail correspondence, which took place last year, between the Italian novelists Elena Ferrante and Nicola Lagioia, whose English-language début, “Ferocity,” will be published in the spring of 2017, by Europa Editions. The full correspondence will appear in …

Kenya Barris On 'Black-ish' And What Kids Lose When They Grow Up With More

Kenya Barris, creator and showrunner of the ABC comedy series <i>Black-ish,</i> wasn't raised in the same privileged world as his own children. Instead, he grew up in a poor neighborhood in Los Angeles. But after his father was injured on the job, Barris' family received money through a legal settlement …

General Motors

Ten Behind-the-Scenes Photos from a Decade of the Wu-Tang Clan

British photographer Eddie Otchere spent a decade trying to capture all ten MCs together.<p><i>This article originally appeared on VICE France</i><p>In 1993, <i>Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)</i> saw the light of day. Around the same time, and hours before their first ever show in the UK, British photographer Eddie …

Rap & Hip-Hop

I Exhale

Obama spars with Cuba's Castro over human rights in historic visit | Reuters

HAVANA (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama pushed Cuba to improve human rights during his historic visit to the Communist-led island on Monday, publicly sparring with President Raul Castro who showed flashes of anger and hit back at U.S. “double standards”.<p>Obama praised Castro for openly …

Cuba

Bakermat - Gone

50 killed in attack at Afghanistan's Kandahar airport

<b>Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) —</b> Fifty people have died in an attack at a market bazaar and a school near Kandahar airport that began late Tuesday, Afghan officials said.<p>The number included 38 civilians, 10 Afghan National Army soldiers and two policemen, the Afghan Defense Ministry said in a statement …

Afghanistan

Carly Simon: 'Adultery doesn't have to mean divorce’

In her first British interview to mark her new memoir, Carly Simon talks men, marriage and infidelity to Elaine Lipworth<p>It’s eight o’clock on a wintry Manhattan morning outside ABC Television Studios. A crowd of middle-aged women has gathered on the pavement, waiting for filming to start on the …

Be Mine

Eating In Bed