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In Conversation

ALAN MOORE with Kathy Battista

Art Gangs: Protest & Counterculture in New York City (Autonomedia, 2011) recounts an alternative history of a formative period of contemporary art in New York, as told through “artists’ groups”, their activities, and corresponding spaces.

Hold Me Now

Neil Gaiman, the legendary Neil Gaiman who, along with Alan Moore and Garth Ennis rebooted U.S. comics around the cusp of the ’80s–’90s, who scripted the English version of Princess Mononoke, who wrote the original graphic novel that formed the basis for the movie Stardust, and wrote one, and only one issue of Hellblazer.

Divine Error

Alan Lightman’s Mr g is a brilliant philosophical play on creation told through the eyes of God himself. The end is also the beginning. Quoting Buddha, Lightman acknowledges “A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.”

Lotus Eaters for Public Consumption

Harold Jaffe’s new collection OD portrays an intriguing selection of public figures as drug users seeking solace and exalted states of experience.

Pompous Circumstance

Dogma, Lars Iyer’s sequel to 2011’s Spurious, based on his eponymous blog, has us meeting up again with our favorite drunken, misguided British intellectuals, narrator Lars and his friend/critic, W.

A Voodoo Doll’s House

Imagine a world that is just like this world, but with the addition of something magical. That reserved, mysterious boy who sparkles in the sunlight is a vampire. Wizards and witches exist, and they have hormones.

Listen Closely

Though contemporary pop culture is often saturated with the sensational and overwrought as a means to present an enthralling narrative, Anne-Marie Kinney’s debut novel, Radio Iris, offers a refreshing alternative, reminding us that a finely-crafted, subtle thriller can captivate the reader just as effectively.

Size Matters

If you’re opening up this page turner to get turned on, be warned: Most of the subject matter in the 140-plus stories, poems, essays, and artwork that make up the 640-page anthology, The Unbearables Big Book of Sex, is closer to Camus than cunnilingus.

On Barney Rosset

As a publisher, Barney Rosset was the rebel’s rebel, defending freedom of speech in celebrated trials for his Grove Press novels, The Tropic of Cancer, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and Naked Lunch; publishing and championing path-breaking writers from Beckett to Genet to Pinter to Ionesco; establishing in 1957 Evergreen Review, the premier magazine of literary radicalism for that period; the list goes on.

Narrative Fuel

The 12 stories that make up Eugene Cross’s skillful debut collection, Fires of Our Choosing, concern, as the title suggests, choice and the heat of consequence.

Half in Speculation

“I have never owned a camera and I never snap photos …” So goes the first line of Judith Kitchen’s quasi-photo collage, Half in Shade: one part memoir, one part speculative sketch, all parts autobiographical.

In Like a Lion

If we believe Adam Kirsch’s new book, Why Trilling Matters, remembering literary critic Lionel Trilling is to gain an idea of what it means to live a life in literature.


Critic Richard Vine is an expert on contemporary Chinese art and he compares much of it to Delacroix’s “Lady Liberty Leading the People.” Indeed, the most famous of contemporary Chinese artists, Ai Weiwei, has come to the fore precisely because of his confrontations with authority.


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2012

All Issues