Journalist and illustrator Lomasko was first noticed in the West for her graphic reportage from the Pussy Riot trial. In Tbilisi, Georgia, she spoke with historians, artists, journalists, activists, squatters, and local clergy about the political and cultural climate in this former Soviet republic.
At the time, the stories we read seemed to me a means to an end, grueling exercises for the tender muscles of my developing Arabic. Only more recently have I wondered what it might feel like to read them as someone living under the Assad regime. A story, at its best, can make us feel less […]
The industry term for or a blockbuster movie franchise is a “tentpole”—it’s the asset that holds the whole operation up. At the height of mass culture, in the second half of the 20th century, it was enough to be on television to command an audience in the tens of millions. But as channels multiplied, the difference between […]
There were 79 degree-granting programs in creative writing in 1975; today, there are 1,269! This explosion has created a huge source of financial support for working writers, not just in the form of lecture fees, adjunctships, and temporary appointments — though these abound — but honest-to-goodness jobs: decently paid, relatively secure compared with other industries, and often even tenured. […]
Always pick sides! Team Aniston!! The internet demands it, even if it’s only half-thoughts it wants, thoughts like, “This, just this” or “This is everything.” “This” is not a sentence. Nor is “Best. Thing. Ever.” Nor “!!!!” But worse than inchoate enthusiasm is the “think piece” at the other end of the spectrum, a form […]
A history of sprawl and escape routes in a Central California town, from the perspective of one family searching for its own escape: As I started high school my mom became convinced my dad had ruined her life. They’d married quickly, and for superficial reasons. Two immigrants from the same country, raised in the manacles […]
A former employee’s story of working inside the Sotheby’s auction house: Hired as a researcher, I was assigned the task of going through the catalogues raisonnés of the Contemporary Art department’s top-grossing artists—Warhol, Koons, Prince, Richter, Rothko—and determining the whereabouts of every piece that had ever come onto the global market. The Excel spreadsheets I […]