"Beautiful like the chance meeting on a dissection table of a sewing machine and an umbrella." —Compte de Lautréamont
Is it possible for an art movement to be anti-art? What would such a movement (anti-movement?) even look like? For the founders of DADA, which grew out of the aftermath of World War I in Europe, the answer is disruption—of society, of culture, and of art itself. Read more about A Short History of DADA
During the first half of the twentieth century, thousands of Russians suffered fates much worse than life-long imprisonment. Joseph Stalin sent many artists, writers, and politicos to the Gulag—or killed them outright.
This is the fictional story of Count Rostov, an educated aristocrat devoted to the literary arts, who found after the first Russian Revolution that being a count was not only illegal, but dangerous. The Count traveled to Paris, and unlike many of his contemporaries visiting abroad, decided to return home. But in the 1920s, under Stalin's Article 58 banning counterrevolution, Rostov stood before a tribunal, and was sentenced to permanent imprisonment at the luxury Metropol Hotel—for writing a poem that he never wrote. Read more about A Gentleman in Moscow
It's a life-changing experience in adulthood when you begin to see your mother and father as individuals, separate from their parenting roles.
Richard Ford wrote a memoir of his father decades ago, as well as one of his mother, penned more recently. Now, in this joint memoir, he again remembers his parents, Parker and Edna, who both grew up in Arkansas. Read more about Between Them: Remembering My Parents
Several books use the concept of a magical door to provide characters entry into other worlds, or to better places in this one. Exit West, a timely novel about refugees by Man Booker Prize winner Mohsin Hamid, employs this device—but because of the power of his plotting and beauty of his prose, it's highly believable.
The novel begins when a young man, Saeed, meets Nadia in an adult evening class in an unnamed country at some point in the near future. Civil war wracks the country; terrorists and militants roam the streets. Read more about Exit West