HOW A STEINBECK NOVEL FORETOLD TRUMP'S AMERICA

HOW A STEINBECK NOVEL FORETOLD TRUMP'S AMERICA

The Winter of Our Discontent is marked by the same sort of nationalism that has been given pride of place on the electoral stage. At the close of the first black president’s tenure, there has been a heightening of hate. The staggering reinvigoration of white supremacy--let’s call it like it is--is a response what some commentators have observed as a pushback against President Obama as a symbol for racial advancement. The racist underpinnings of presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign are, for some, a way to set back the “rightful” order of this country -- you know, to “make America great again.” 

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JOY HARJO, NATIONAL PARKS, AND THE 'BEGINNING AND END' OF RECOGNIZING TRIBAL HISTORIES

JOY HARJO, NATIONAL PARKS, AND THE 'BEGINNING AND END' OF RECOGNIZING TRIBAL HISTORIES

Although every National Park was once inhabited or used by Native people, their stories are glaringly absent in this year's centennial celebrations of the National Parks Service as “America’s best idea.” Poet, musician, and member of the Mvskoke Nation, Joy Harjo takes the United States' limited account for tribal histories to task in her poem, "Someone Talking." 

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5 NOVELS THAT SHOW WHY ATTACKS ON GAY CLUBS ARE SO DEVASTATING

5 NOVELS THAT SHOW WHY ATTACKS ON GAY CLUBS ARE SO DEVASTATING

The attack on the Orlando, Florida gay club Pulse was not just a violation of a safe space, but a desecration of a place of celebration for a community still engaged in very real battles against marginalization, discrimination, and all out violence. These five novels show the importance of such venues to the LGBT community and offer a glimpse of just what was lost along with 49 lives in the most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history.

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(3+7) (Q&A) WITH POET RICHARD BLANCO ON THE 'MATTERS OF THE SEA' BETWEEN CUBA AND AMERICA

(3+7) (Q&A) WITH POET RICHARD BLANCO ON THE 'MATTERS OF THE SEA' BETWEEN CUBA AND AMERICA

Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco, who read an original work at President Obama’s second inauguration ceremony in 2013, was asked to write and share a poem for the historic re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana in August. THE ALIGNIST’s Beenish Ahmed spoke to him about the challenges of composing a poem for such a personally and politically significant occasion, and about Cuba – and America – have changed for him since amid renewed ties between the two countries.

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(3+7) (Q&A) ON A FRENCH MEMOIRIST WHO BELIEVED THAT 'TO WRITE IS TO PROSTITUTE ONESELF'

(3+7) (Q&A) ON A FRENCH MEMOIRIST WHO BELIEVED THAT 'TO WRITE IS TO PROSTITUTE ONESELF'

Although a new film and documentary about Violette Leduc’s life have added to her popularity in recent years, the groundbreaking writer remains largely unread outside of France. THE ALIGNIST’s Beenish Ahmed called up New York University professor Elisabeth Ladenson to talk about Leduc’s troubled life and unsung legacy -- but mostly, about her unsparing prose. 

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'I STILL CHASE THE LIGHT,' A PALESTINIAN POET APPEALS HIS DEATH SENTENCE IN SAUDI ARABIA

'I STILL CHASE THE LIGHT,' A PALESTINIAN POET APPEALS HIS DEATH SENTENCE IN SAUDI ARABIA

"I forgot to tell you...that in the practical sense of the word/ I've grown used to your absence/ and that my wishes have lost their way to your desires/ and my memory has begun to corrode/ And that I still chase the light, not because I want to see...the dark always frightens/ even when we're used to it." 

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(3+7) (Q&A) WITH RAFIA ZAKARIA ON HER BOOK, THE UPSTAIRS WIFE

(3+7) (Q&A) WITH RAFIA ZAKARIA ON HER BOOK, THE UPSTAIRS WIFE

Rarely is sexism considered to be a menace akin to that of sectarianism in Pakistan. It's even rarer that the omission of the country's most marginalized from their place within classrooms and within textbooks is called into question. In her book, The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan, Rafia Zakaria does both.

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FIVE NOVELS THAT HELPED MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD IN 2015

FIVE NOVELS THAT HELPED MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD IN 2015

2015 saw more than a million migrants land on the shores of Europe, the launch of a reconfigured campaign against terror, a shocking array of mass killings, and far more. Here are five books which shed light on some of those events and more. 

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