Did You Hear? Radiohead OKNOTOK


Radiohead’s OK COMPUTER came out 20 summers ago. To mark the occasion, today the band released OKNOTOK, a remastered version of the original album, along with a lot of really good b-sides and three previously unreleased tracks. You can listen to it all on Apple Music and Spotify, or get it the old fashioned way from Radiohead’s site. I know “Paranoid Android” is considered the album’s most revolutionary track, but 20 years later I think we all understand that the better choice is the video above for “No Surprises.” It is simply extraordinary.

I won’t burden the world with two decades of feels from someone who was graduating high school the same year the greatest artwork ever made on modern sadness was produced. No one wants that, and there is already a ton to read about it over at Pitchfork. I’ll just say that listening to OK COMPUTER again today, sitting in my office, in these times, was like running into an old friend when you’re in a tough spot. A reminder.

-Mike Moats

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The Literary Tourist Interviews Lisa Dillman

Lisa Dillman has translated numerous books, including Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World, which won the 2016 Best Translated Book Award, and several books by Andrés Barba. Barba’s novella Such Small Hands tells the haunting story of a young girl who loses her parents in a car accident and is sent to an orphanage for girls.

Andrea Gregovich: I was so touched by Such Small Hands because the young girls’ voices felt so authentic. Your translator’s note touched on the same thought I had as I was reading: how did this male author capture the painful internal world of orphaned girls so exquisitely? Do you get a sense of this from meeting him? Continue reading

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The Beating Heart of Protest

Donald Trump’s presidency has ushered in a new era of protests, with people flooding the streets to resist his agenda. In just six months we’ve seen the Women’s March, the March for Science, the Not My President March, the March for Truth, and the first ever protest in space, by the Autonomous Space Agency Network—along with many others.

Sunil Yapa wonderfully captures the visceral experience of a protest, albeit one that turns violent, in his debut novel, Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist. It’s November 30, 1999, when tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in downtown Seattle to protest the World Trade Organization conference at the city’s convention center. Continue reading

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Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Mary Mann

Mary Mann is the author of Yawn: Adventures in Boredom. Her essays and criticism have appeared in Smithsonian, The New York Times, The Believer, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications, and she holds an MFA from Columbia University’s writing program. Mann is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellowship and a 2015 CATWALK Art Residency, and she is the associate editor of the New York Times bestselling collection Women in Clothes. She is currently employed as a writing associate at The Cooper Union. Mann lives in New York with her fiancé, Grant, and dog, Maya.

EB: How did you start writing nonfiction?

MM: I moved to New York because I wanted to do some writing for somebody somewhere. I loved to read. If I wasn’t writing, I wanted to be editing something—I wanted to be involved with words. I wanted to be in that world. And I moved into nonfiction because that’s just how things shook out. I had an internship at The Onion when I first started out. Obviously those stories are not real, but they treat it like journalism—writers spit-balling stuff off each other. I liked that world. I got a copyediting job after that. I wasn’t crazy about it, and that’s when I applied to Columbia, because that was when I decided I wanted to do something different. I applied to the nonfiction program because it felt natural. I feel like I don’t have a good answer. Continue reading

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HITTING SHELVES #46: Since I Laid My Burden Down by Brontez Purnell

Since I Laid My Burden Down by Brontez Purnell comes out today! It’s a debut novel about how one man’s early sexual and artistic escapades grow into a life, and it’s one of the most unflinching and bone-true things you’ll read all year . We asked the author one question.

Fiction Advocate: Brontez! How are you celebrating the publication of Since I Laid My Burden Down?

Brontez Purnell: Since I Laid My Burden Down is a book about loss, reconciliation, and pondering the question of “Who deserves love?” Continue reading

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The Boomstick Film Club: And Then There Were None

Watch it with us: Amazon Prime, Tubi.tv

The Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None was simultaneously one of my best and worst reading experiences of all time. I was thirteen and it was my first murder mystery—I had purchased it through my school’s book order, if I remember right. I settled in to read it before bed and ended up staying awake until 2 a.m. so I could finish it, completely out of my mind with terror. It was such an unnerving experience that I didn’t go near a murder mystery again for a couple of years. The premise is uniquely effective: ten people arrive at a mysterious house on a deserted island, and one by one they begin dying off. Now that it’s been twenty-plus years and I have somewhat recovered my wits since that night in seventh grade, I couldn’t wait to see how René Clair’s adaptation of this pivotal (for me) novel capitalizes on the book’s structure. Continue reading

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