Get ready to return to Litchfield prison. The trailer for the second season of the series Orange is the New Black was released this week, and things are looking particularly severe for the inmates this season.
Based on the bestselling memoir by Piper Kerman, the entire season will be released June 6 on Netflix.
Almost everyone, interested in psychology or not, knows who Sigmund Freud was, but I’d venture to guess that fewer people, unless they’ve studied psychoanalytic child psychology, know who Anna Freud was. I certainly didn’t, until Rebecca Coffey’s new book, Hysterical: Anna Freud’s Story (She Writes Press), landed in my lap. (more…)
Elizabeth Earley’s novel, A Map of Everything, which contains supplemental illustrations by artist Christa Donner, explores the aftermath of a tragedy and its effects on a family. The story is told in fragments, several of which focus on the experiences and whereabouts of the family’s five children, though the primary protagonist is Anne, the youngest. When Anne’s sister June is involved in a car accident that leaves her with severe physical disabilities as well as permanent traumatic brain injury, Anne begins down a path marked by neglect, self-destruction, abuse, and addiction. The novel not only pieces together a portrait of Anne and her family before and during the event, but shows their progression over the course of two decades, tracing the ways in which their lives continue to be affected by a single traumatic event.
Smitten with Gertrude Stein, like many of her male contemporaries, sculptor Jo Davidson determined to have her serve as one of his subjects. In 1920, over coffee and conversation, Davidson had Stein sit for him, in one of the most memorable, non-Picasso related, artistic renderings of the avant garde, modernist writer to date. (more…)
I’ve always been reluctant to make distinctions between “high” and “low” art. Maureen N. McLane, with the publication of This Blue (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), has invited me to reconsider the value of these terms—or rather, to reconsider the hierarchy they seem to suggest. She has made me entertain the notion that the designations “high” and “low” might be more useful as descriptions of particular styles than bald evaluations of a given artist’s taste or intelligence. Certainly, she has made me appreciate the artful ways that “high” and “low” diction co-exist in her own work—and more than co-exist: the ways her idiosyncratic approach to poeming thrives through deft and playful juxtaposition. In This Blue, we encounter the high-brow and the low-ball, often within the same poem.
Frog Music opens with a song—fitting, given this music-filled narrative—and a murder. Jenny Bonnet, frog-catching, cross-dressing, loveable misfit, meets an untimely demise in the first scene; Blanche Beunon, her new friend, is bent over unlacing her gaiter at the time the mysterious shots shatter the window and pierce Jenny’s body. (more…)
A blurb from Janet Fitch graces the back cover of Dia Felix’s debut novel, Nochita—which seemed appropriate, at first. When I was a teenage fiend for fiction, Fitch’s White Oleander was a prime piece of evidence toward my conclusion that wild and beautifully damaged girls must sprout naturally from the soils of California. (Francesca Lia Block’s books were another.) In this glitzy-gritty, weatherless realm, youth equaled beauty equaled tragic backstory equaled effortless creativity. I lived in the Midwest; I wanted to go. (more…)
Celebrated novelist and journalist Ariel Gore’s stunningly harrowing book, The End of Eve, was released in March from Hawthorne Press. The memoir, which follows Gore’s relationship with her abusive mother during the last years of her mother’s life, invokes a sense of place and what it means to be a caretaker. As any good journalist would do, Gore rushes straight into the eye of the storm, never flinching from the wreckage around her. (more…)
The year 2014 will be hard pressed to give us a more powerful debut poetry collection than Lenelle Moïse’s Haiti Glass (City Lights/ Sister Spit). Moïse comes to the page an accomplished performer, poet, essayist, and playwright, having served as Northampton’s Poet Laureate and been published in numerous anthologies. Longtime fans of her bold writing will delight in this debut, and its magnetic force will bring waves of new readers to her incredible talent. (more…)
Sometimes it takes a lifetime to stop struggling against the grain.The title, Finding the Grain, suggests searching for something that’s right, even if it involves floundering off course as part of the search, rather than the negative “against the grain.” So when Augusta “Blue” Riley’s life takes what seems like one wrong turn after another, following the tragic death of her parents in a tornado, she begins a journey that takes her on paths that seem to lead her astray again and again. But she might not be off course at all; she might just be looking for the grain of her life. If she finds it, she might be able to slip into the flow of it and ride along effortlessly; however, in Blue’s case, finding that grain may take a while. (more…)