Arts & Culture

Book Reviews
9:03 am
Thu March 19, 2015

'The Only Ones' Puts A Heartbreaking Spin On Dystopia

Carola Dibbell is a veteran music journalist, and it shows. In her debut novel The Only Ones — which may or may not be named after the cult '70s band — Dibbell writes rhythmically and lyrically about New York City's outer boroughs in the latter half of the 21st century, where life in American has been radically altered by waves of populace-decimating pandemics. The economy is a shambles. People subsist partly on a manufactured foodstuff called Process that's dropped into struggling neighborhoods. The streets of the city are hosed down regularly with industrial-strength antiseptic.

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Monkey See
8:39 am
Thu March 19, 2015

The 'Empire' Touch: A Cookie By Any Other Name

Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) has been the highlight of the first season of Empire.
Chuck Hodes Fox

Empire closed out its remarkable first season on Wednesday night with a two-hour finale that proved once again one of the fundamental lessons brought to you by this show: whether this is your cup of tea or not, the people who make Empire really know what they're doing.

In the finale (and if this needs saying, we're about to talk about the finale, so don't claim you weren't warned), we finally got the answers to some of the questions asked in the pilot, while at the same time, it was only entirely clear what was going on about half the time.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu March 19, 2015

'Mountaineer' Is A Must-Read Of Soviet Sci-Fi

Arkady and Boris Strugatsky were acclaimed and beloved science fiction writers of the Soviet era. Together they wrote 25 novels, including Roadside Picnic, Snail on the Slope, Hard to Be a God, Monday Begins on Saturday and Definitely Maybe, as well as short fiction, essays, plays and film scripts.
Courtesy of Melville House Publishing

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 11:59 am

During the Stalin years, there were tight restrictions on science fiction in the Soviet Union. Writers were pressured and boxed in, urged to stick to themes of adventure, space travel and the glowing prospect of Soviet scientific and technological achievements.

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4:02 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Swagger On Display At 'Empire' Season Finale Parties

Jamal (played by Jussie Smollett) and Cookie (played by Taraji P. Henson) attend the all white party in the "The Lyon's Roar" episode of Empire.
Matt Dinnerstein FOX

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 11:18 am

Last night was Empire's season finale, and at one of D.C.'s biggest Empire watch parties, a sharply dressed crowd of hundreds is huddled around every flat-screen in The Stone Fish Grill Lounge downtown.

"Here we go! Here we go! Here we go, come on everyone! Round of applause!" shouts one of the hosts for the night. "It's Empire time!"

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Author Interviews
2:27 am
Thu March 19, 2015

How A 1970s Fashion Faceoff Put American Designers In The Spotlight

Models show designs by Oscar de la Renta at the 1973 Versailles show. De la Renta was one of the first American designers to sign on for the catwalk competition.
Daniel Simon Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 12:48 pm

On Nov. 28, 1973, France's Versailles Palace hosted an impossibly glamorous moment in fashion: a competition between five French couture designers and five up-and-coming Americans. The event was a fundraiser to help restore the palace, but it also made for a groundbreaking runway show.

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