Books and Arts

Alterna-Booker—Different Prize, Same Antics
October 16, 2012

Hilary Mantel has won the Man Booker prize for a second time, and, as far as we know, no behind-the-scenes wrangling led to her victory. But it wouldn’t have been surprising if some squabbles had taken place. The Booker has always been unusually contentious. So contentious, in fact, that an alternative prize—the “Not the Booker”—was initiated in 2009 by The Guardian to poke fun at the internecine debates and offer a more open contest. At least that was the plan.

Ben Affleck’s “Argo” Is Brilliant
October 16, 2012

The hostage crisis wasn't the disaster you've been led to believe -- and Ben Affleck's new film gets that

PETA vs. Pokémon: Does The Video Game Make Kids Cruel?
October 12, 2012

PETA is right to say that Pokémon endorses animal cruelty--though, in typical fashion, it misses the point

China’s Literary Nobel Complex Is Defused
October 11, 2012

Mo Yan's candid glimpse of twentieth-century China

An American
October 05, 2012

Every Diwali, I explain to my friends at school why I am so tired—garba it’s like dancing—pujas? I guess like praying—  I explain in fragments because even we don’t know why we wash statues with milk, why worshipping God takes so many coats. I don’t ask,  just sit beside my mother when she sings. My sister and I watch our father struggle to cross his legs; his laughter resting on his lifted knees.  He closes his eyes, pretending to pray. We believe my mother made this temple herself, found pictures and tiny murtis, gold coins with Shiva, rice and turmeric  stored in tiny steel jars.

October 05, 2012

You get used to it, she said, meaning the delicate mechanism of the diamond drop passed on from her mother. She was fastening the clasp around my neck, meaning preparing me for the fumbling that inheritance presents, meaning death. You get used to it, she said, meaning being inserted into the dark and learning to call it something else—the way of all flesh, for instance.

How Liberals Learned to Love Honey Boo Boo
October 03, 2012

What began as a classic "thank God we're not those people" show for liberals and other cosmopolitans turned out to be weirdly inspirational.

From Radical to Right-Wing: The Legacy of Eugene Genovese
October 02, 2012

The famed historian, who died last month, began his career as a Marxist and finished it as a conservative Catholic.

From the Archives: Eugene Genovese on Eric Hobsbawm
October 01, 2012

A 1995 review by Eugene Genovese of Eric Hobsbawm’s history of the 20th century.