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Omnivore

Away from the Soviet matrix

Balazs Szalontai (Wilson Center): Political and Economic Relations between Communist States. Botakoz Kassymbekova (TU Berlin): Leisure and Politics: Soviet Central Asian Tourists Across the Iron Curtain. Zbigniew Wojnowski (Nazarbayev): An Unlikely Bulwark of Sovietness: Cross-border Travel and Soviet Patriotism in Western Ukraine, 1956–1985. Alexei Yurchak (UC-Berkeley): Bodies of Lenin: The Hidden Science of Communist Sovereignty. Michelle Smirnova (Missouri): What is the Shortest Russian Joke


Paper Trail

At the New Republic, Jamil Smith discusses the New York Times’s coverage of race, specifically its reassignment of Tanzina Vega from the race beat, which she had suggested herself, to the metropolitan section, and the more general tendency of papers across the country to shutter their race beats. Smith quotes Cord Jefferson, who wrote a

Syllabi

Andre Dubus's best characters

Bibi DeitzAndre Dubus's literary superpower is to hit upon that one thing about a character that makes him him, or her her. And in so doing, with subtle, clever details—breadcrumbs on the trail to the nucleus

Daily Review

Whipping Boy

What's the use of getting over things? Wrongs have been perpetrated: assaults on your dignity, your self-image, your fragile well-being. And they've gotten away with it—they're reveling (no doubt prospering), smug in their galling impunity, probably laughing at you even now.

    Interviews

    Miranda July

    In Miranda July's films and short stories, the protagonist is usually shut off from the world: insular, habit-prone, and to the outside world, a little weird, The beauty of Cheryl Glickman, the narrator of July's debut novel, The First Bad Man, is that she's come to see her idiosyncrasies as totally logical, After reading several pages of Cheryl's chatty internal monologue, the reader will, too.

    Profile

    The Autotelic Atticus Lish

    Catherine Foulkrod

    "I told my wife, 'Baby, I want to write twenty books,' and it's not a boast; it's because I believe in the Zen process. You know, if you rake a garden for fifty years, insight comes. My struggle right now is to make it no struggle. If I can do that, I can be a machine. I want to keep pumping out books because rarely can you just knock out a homerun. A perfect book only happens if you roll the dice a bunch of times. Take Cormac McCarthy

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