Arts & Culture

Author Interviews
2:40 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Ohio Kidnapping Survivors Recount Captivity, Escape From Horror

House of horrors: The exterior of the Cleveland house where Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were held captive.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 3:44 pm

On the day before her 17th birthday, in 2003, Amanda Berry disappeared as she made her way home from her job at a Burger King in Cleveland. A year later, another Cleveland teen, 14-year-old Gina DeJesus, vanished while returning from middle school. Searches for both girls came up empty, and as the years passed it seemed less and less likely that either girl would ever be seen again.

In fact, the girls were still in Cleveland. They had been abducted by a man named Ariel Castro, who had kidnapped another young woman, Michelle Knight, in 2002.

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Book Reviews
1:38 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

3,600-Page Autobiographical Novel Is An Honest And Masterful 'Selfie'

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 2:59 pm

It seems like there's always some writer you're supposed to be reading. These days, it's Karl Ove Knausgaard, the 46-year-old Norwegian whose six-volume, 3,600-page autobiographical novel, My Struggle, has become a literary sensation. Over the past couple of years, I haven't been able to go to a social gathering without someone asking what I thought of his work. When I've said that I hadn't read a word, they would look genuinely startled and tell me, "You have to."

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The Salt
12:18 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

These Parents Make Lovely Lunch Bag Art. Not Everyone Is Pleased

Samantha Lee's take on The Girl With The Pearl Earring.
Courtesy of Samantha Lee

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 4:03 pm

While many kids are lucky if their parents send them off to school with a ham and cheese sandwich and an apple in their packed lunches, for some, the midday meal is a work of art.

Some parents include paper napkins with hand-drawn illustrations so elaborate that children have preferred to use their own clothing to wipe up spills. Others decorate the once-boring brown paper bag with fanciful dragons and scenes from Star Wars or re-create great works of art in food. (Think Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Earring rendered in sushi.)

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Book Reviews
9:46 am
Wed April 29, 2015

A Futuristic Private Eye Gets In Over Her Head In 'Depth'

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on

Lev AC Rosen is a native New Yorker — and he'd have to be in order to write Depth. In Rosen's latest novel, the United States of the 22nd century is an unrecognizable place: Climate catastrophes have flooded the entire Eastern seaboard, leaving Chicago a coastal town and the surviving flyover states an oppressive stronghold of religious conservatism. The inundated city-state of New York stands alone, tentatively still part of the U.S., but existing as a cluster of half-submerged skyscrapers connected by boats and bridges.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed April 29, 2015

'SuperMutant Magic Academy' Is Hogwarts With Nuts (And A Cherry)

Imagine putting on a suit of armor to go to battle with a hot fudge sundae. That, Kurt Vonnegut famously said, is what critics are doing when they express "rage and loathing" toward novels. The metaphor has its limits — not all novels can be considered hot fudge sundaes — but there's one series that perfectly fits the classification: Harry Potter. J. K. Rowling's books are, collectively, the biggest, gooiest sundae there is.

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