The imagined near future of Chang-Rae Lee's new novel is entirely credible. So much so that one is, for much of the book, lulled into reading the story as merely a warning of the perils of unbridled consumerism and neglect of our environment. And indeed, yes, there is that, but there is so much more besides.
With over a billion users worldwide, Facebook is arguably the most popular social media site around. Teens and early 20-somethings are its biggest users. But as NPR's Patti Neighmond reports, there are growing signs of disenchantment with the site.
PATTI NEIGHMOND, BYLINE: Genevieve Brown is 19 years old, a sophomore at New York's Sarah Lawrence College and an avid Facebook user since junior high. It used to be a great joy. But lately, not so much.
It is time to give the humble slow cooker its due.
If you associate this hard-working table-top appliance with the 1970s (along with decorative owls, the color combination of burnt orange and brown, and perhaps chunky pleather boots) ditch the quick dismiss and embrace the vibe. A slow cooker can be a busy person's best friend.
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 2:36 pm
Raze may be a term most often associated with buildings, but in Josh C. Waller's debut feature, it's something done to bodies and minds. The film takes the power dynamics and the gladiatorial spectacle of the Hunger Games — the powerful forcing the unsuspecting to fight to the death, mostly for the sick entertainment of the rich — and crosses it with the lurid exploitation of '60s women-in-prison cinema, only without the sex.
Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 6:02 pm
To help his struggling family and escape his own status as an outcast, a plucky young boy enters a competition. Yes, The Rocket is a sports movie, with an outcome that's easily foreseen. The cultural specifics of this Laos-set tale, however, are far less predictable.
The title of In Bloom refers both to the movie's 14-year-old protagonists, Eka and Natia, and to the burgeoning Georgian nation where the film, set a year after that country's independence, is set. The double meaning becomes clear early on. What takes longer to recognize is the title's bitter irony.
The film takes place in 1992, by which point the newly sovereign Georgia had already started descending into what would become years of civil war, particularly in Abhkazia and South Ossetia, two territories with Russian-backed independence movements of their own.
One of America's most important — and controversial — literary figures, Amiri Baraka, died on Thursday from complications after surgery following a long illness, according to his oldest son. Baraka was 79.
Baraka co-founded the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s. His literary legacy is as complicated as the times he lived through, from his childhood — where he recalled not being allowed to enter a segregated library — to the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. His poem about that attack, "Somebody Blew Up America," quickly became infamous.