One Grand Books

It shows something about how the world is changing that one of the best—warmest, most inviting, most invigorating—bookstores I’ve experienced is just one tiny town over from where I live in the Catskills. I can drive fifteen minutes and find Aaron Hicklin, owner and founder, manning the checkout counter. His idea is brilliant (and very twenty-first […]

Memory and Memoir

People ask me how I remember so much of my childhood? Part of the answer is that I have an obsessive memory. Some people respond to hardship and trauma by forgetting. Some doing it by remembering. Some with a confusing combination of both. Any of these responses can be therapeutic; any of them can be […]

The One You Get

I got advance copies this week! Soon, the book will be in the world. I guess it’s partway in the world now. Baby steps. I’m excited. The launch party will be September 12, 8 pm at The Red Room at KGB in New York. I’ll read for a very short time. There will be great music and […]

A Single Man’s Brain

Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man (1964) is a story of a grieving organism. George, its protagonist, is a professor bereft after the death of partner Jim. His grieving is solitary. The homophobia of his world curtails communal mourning rituals. In response, he narrates himself in ecological terms, as an organism, his brain and body commingling with […]

Political Organisms

My ears perked up when I read that Barack Obama was talking to his daughters about what it means to think about humans (and voters) as organisms. New York Magazine‘s Gabriella Paiella asked him what he tells his daughters about the election of Donald Trump: “What I say to them is that people are complicated,” […]

LuxRd Has a Message for Us

On election eve, Lux Rd. springs their new video, “Get Your Fucking Hope Back” (directed by James Matthew Daniel). If the medium is the message, it seems like there’s something here about reimagining what it means to be human–because the models we’ve been working with seem to be making us miserable. Here’s to reimagination! Also, […]

Club Zu

Hips wave and duck. Arms move in unison, right to left, fists gently closed, like they’re pulling a big lever. When the chorus comes, You spin me right round, baby, right round, like a record baby, several dancers interrupt the lever pulling for a brief miming of a record turning, palm down, on cue, right […]

Interview with Heather Houser

Heather Houser’s book Ecosickness in U.S. Contemporary U.S. Fiction: Environment and Affect (Columbia UP 2014) moved and fascinated me. Houser writes about ecology and sickness in fiction by some of the most influential contemporary American writers, including Jan Zita Grover, Marge Piercy, Richard Powers, Leslie Marmon Silko, David Foster Wallace, and David Wojnarowicz. Houser’s writing is […]

Sesame Street’s Missed Opportunity

“If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.” –Junot Diaz In her careful, compassionate critique of Sesame Street‘s new attempts to represent autistic kids on the show, Erin Human, quotes Junot Diaz, from a speech he gave to New Jersey students. Diaz sees […]

Joseph LeDoux: On the Radio

In my other life as a DJ, I had the pleasure of spending two hours on the air with Joseph LeDoux, neuroscientist and frontman for the band The Amygdaloids. My show is The Mixtape, on 90.5 FM WJFF in Jeffersonville, New York. Usually, it’s a music show, but last week it was a combination of music […]

Spam prevention powered by Akismet