1. My last review for Library Journal! This is of Hilton Als’s really stunning essay collection, White Girls, which is coming out from McSweeney’s in November:

[star] Only Als (theater critic, The New Yorker; The Women) could write about ringworm—”my cruddy friend,” “a dark flower,” “an erotic ‘pain’ I could not wait to get my hands on”—and make it sound good. His first book since 1998 contains 13 pieces, most of them previously published, in which he meanders through fiction, criticism, and memoir along the axes of race, gender, and sexuality. He touches on aspects of his own life and on various cultural figures: Truman Capote, Flannery O’Connor, Malcolm X, Eminem, Michael Jackson, André Leon Talley, Louise Brooks, and Richard Pryor, among others—all examined as “white girls” or in relation to them. (Als asks in “Tristes Tropiques,” “How could one be a white girl and hate it?”) On writing about pictures of lynching victims, he admits, “I have become a cliché” by answering white America’s request to “Tell me about yourself, meaning, Tell me how you’ve suffered. Isn’t that what you people do? Suffer nobly, even poetically sometimes? Doesn’t suffering define you?” VERDICT Suffering does not define Als; his art—loping, loopy, yet astonishingly precise language—does. This is a book that readers will want to spend the rest of their lives with: a searching, insistent, and thoroughly wise collection.—Molly McArdle, Library Journal

    My last review for Library Journal! This is of Hilton Als’s really stunning essay collection, White Girls, which is coming out from McSweeney’s in November:

    [star] Only Als (theater critic, The New Yorker; The Women) could write about ringworm—”my cruddy friend,” “a dark flower,” “an erotic ‘pain’ I could not wait to get my hands on”—and make it sound good. His first book since 1998 contains 13 pieces, most of them previously published, in which he meanders through fiction, criticism, and memoir along the axes of race, gender, and sexuality. He touches on aspects of his own life and on various cultural figures: Truman Capote, Flannery O’Connor, Malcolm X, Eminem, Michael Jackson, André Leon Talley, Louise Brooks, and Richard Pryor, among others—all examined as “white girls” or in relation to them. (Als asks in “Tristes Tropiques,” “How could one be a white girl and hate it?”) On writing about pictures of lynching victims, he admits, “I have become a cliché” by answering white America’s request to “Tell me about yourself, meaning, Tell me how you’ve suffered. Isn’t that what you people do? Suffer nobly, even poetically sometimes? Doesn’t suffering define you?” VERDICT Suffering does not define Als; his art—loping, loopy, yet astonishingly precise language—does. This is a book that readers will want to spend the rest of their lives with: a searching, insistent, and thoroughly wise collection.—Molly McArdle, Library Journal

     
    1. thelmaiwu reblogged this from mollitudo
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      Can’t wait!
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    8. heychamone reblogged this from therumpus and added:
      Want to read this.
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    10. therumpus reblogged this from mollitudo and added:
      The next Rumpus Book Club pick is White Girls!
    11. mollitudo posted this