Latest Entries
Film

The Past (2013)

        Like Asghar Farhadi’s previous film, A Separation (2011), The Past is a portrait of a family falling apart. Instead of Tehran, it takes place in Paris and its suburbs, and one member of the family — Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa), Marie’s soon-to-be-former husband and father figure to Marie’s daughters, the teenage Lucie … Continue reading

Film

Short Term 12 (2013)

            Short Term 12 (directed and written by Destin Daniel Cretton) is an exquisitely nuanced, emotionally gripping drama about the relationships between the children who live in a short-term care facility and the young adults who care for them. The staff worker in charge of supervising the kids on a day-to-day … Continue reading

Books

Dissident Gardens (Jonathan Lethem, 2013)

           Jonathan Lethem’s ninth novel, Dissident Gardens, is an ambitious, acerbically funny and deeply affecting tragicomedy about a multigenerational family of leftist activists and their connections to the revolutionary political movements that have taken root stateside in the past century — namely, communism in the ’40s and ’50s, the civil rights … Continue reading

Books

The Plague of Doves (Louise Erdrich, 2008)

Louise Erdrich’s twelfth novel, The Plague of Doves, explores the intricate constellation of relationships in a small North Dakota community where the once lethal tensions between Ojibwe and white residents have softened over three generations. The narrative unfolds through a Faulknerian chorus of voices: Evelina Harp, a young woman who is part-Ojibwe, part-white, anchors us … Continue reading