Book Excerpt: The Cinephiliac Tendencies of Author/Illustrator Edward Gorey

Edward Gorey was one of the most influential artists of a very specific contemporary pop culture aesthetic; he’s sometimes called the Godfather of Goth. But who was this eccentric illustrator and author, beyond the tall tales of his peculiar dress and cat-and-book-filled home? Author Mark Dery attempts to answer that question in Born to Be Posthumous: […]

Book Excerpt: Amazing Images from the New ‘Isle of Dogs’ Companion

It’s not a surprise that Matt Zoller Seitz’s The Wes Anderson Collection was among the most successful of the recent burst of film-related, design-heavy coffee-table books, because it’s such an ideal merging of subject and format — Anderson’s work is so meticulous, and his films are so detail-oriented, they tend to lend themselves to the minutiae-gazing […]

Book Excerpt: Sex, Drugs, and Clubs in Mid-’90s Boston

In the thrilling new novel Sketchtasy (out now from Arsenal Pulp Press), award-winning author Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore dips back into mid-‘90s gay culture with her story of Alexa, a 21-year-old queen trying to find her way (and find herself) in the less than Family-friendly world of Boston, circa 1995. Fast-paced, introspective, thoughtful, and wryly funny, Sketchtasy […]

Excerpt: A New Perspective on a Classic in ‘Marilla of Green Gables’

L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables is one of the most durable stories in all of young adult literature, spawning sequels, prequels, films, and television movies and series. And now, bestselling author Sarah McCoy revisits the story, from a new point-of-view: that of Marilla Cuthbert, Anne’s guardian (along with her brother Matthew), but from […]

Book Excerpt: The Fascinating Tale of ‘Feuding Fan Dancers’

When Leslie Zemeckis was making her feature documentary Behind the Burly Q, she met someone with a story that seemed to go beyond the burlesque history she was making. Her interview subject was the son of Sally Rand, the New York showgirl who became the sensation of the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago. She claimed […]

Book Excerpt: A Dispatch from Inside the Evangelical ‘Purity’ Movement

The “purity industry” was one of the hallmarks of 1990 Christian Evangelical culture — and one of its creepier elements, in which young women were encouraged to stigmatize their sexual urges and promise the preservation of their virginity to others. Purity rings were worn, purity balls were thrown (and documented), and the rest of us […]

Book Excerpt: Hanging Out in the Village with the ‘Ninth Street Women’

When we talk and read about mid-20th century abstract artists, the names mentioned are inevitably those of men. Now, Mary Gabriel is hoping to change that. In her hefty and engaging new book Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed […]

Book Excerpt: ‘Untrue’ Challenges Dated Thinking on Female Sexuality

Among 19- to 29-year-olds, women commit infidelity more often than men do; several studies show no significant difference in male and female rates of fidelity into our forties. Many experts now believe that monogamy is a tighter fit for women, and that they actually require variety and novelty of sexual experience more than men do. […]

Book Excerpt: The Secrets and Lies of the Coen Brothers’ ‘The Man Who Wasn’t There’

One of the pleasures of the big, handsome, mid-to-late career monographs that Abrams Books has made a specialty (they also released Matt Zoller Seitz’s books on Wes Anderson and Oliver Stone, and Tom Shone’s volumes on Martin Scorsese and, this fall, Quentin Tarantino) is that they allow us to appreciate the “minor” entries of those […]

Book Excerpt: A Young Woman’s Escape to New York in ‘A Room Away From the Wolves’

We love a good New York novel, which is part of why we were so keen to recommend A Room Away From the Wolves. Nova Ren Suma’s marvelous book, out this week from Algonquin, is the thrilling and moving story of a young woman’s escape to Gotham and the world she finds there. In this […]