Fifty years after New Yorker writer John McPhee published his slender study Oranges, one writer traces McPhee’s story down to Florida to assess the state of American citrus and the peculiar nature of this enduring book.
A “willingness to flout the laws of space and time” help painter Ralph Cowan form relationships with the kind of people who will pay for a portrait of themselves with a lion, at the mast of a ship, or gliding through a Venetian dreamscape.
What an unsolved double murder in Kentucky reveals about America’s military-industrial complex.
New Orleans’s complicated history with the Mardi Gras flambeaux — the (usually black) torch carriers who, for years, lit the way for the festival’s (usually white) parades.
The story of Eh Kaw Htoo, a Karen refugee from Myanmar — a man who “extolled the redneck’s work ethic” — helping to build a community of 150 Karens who sustain one another by living frugally and sharing the bounty of the land in the rural community of Comer, Georgia.
When an American writer visits Tokyo to see a Mississippi Blues musician perform, she tries to figure out why Japan has a particular fondness for American Blues, the ways cultures metabolize each other, the place of Black America in Japan, and the complex forces that draw foreign people, and their music, together.
Unlike many of her white Southern literary contemporaries, the writer Lillian Smith ignored easy magnolia-scented tropes in her work in order to confront the divided, racially charged heart of the American South.
After Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize win, it’s worth revisiting some of the early artistic efforts that got him there. Here’s a detailed account of the recording of his masterful 1966 album Blonde on Blonde, with all that record’s first scrapped attempts and captured 3AM magic.
Atlanta chef and culinary teacher Tim Patridge says there is a difference between reunion and funeral chicken. Reunion chicken, he explains, is fried fast and hot, in a hurry to get to the park and the party. It has a crust that is consequently crisper than the more tender crust of funeral chicken. Funeral chicken is fried slowly. Reluctant for the day to progress, the cook takes her time, turning the burner lower, braising as well as frying. As she stands at the stove, turning the pieces, raising and lowering the heat, she is lost in the act of remembering the person who has gone before. That memory, Tim suggests, may also flavor funeral chicken.
When the author returns to her family’s coal mining roots in Harlan County, Kentucky, she tries to make sense of her family legacy, as well as America’s complicated, contentious relationship with coal.