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.
“On November 10 The New York Times reported that nearly seven in ten Republicans prefer America as it was in the 1950s,” Smith said, “A nostalgia of course entirely unavailable to a person like me, for in that period I could not vote, marry my husband, have my children, work in the university I work in, or live in my neighborhood.”
As outrage over the killings of unarmed black men by white police hours plays again rattles the nation, Langston Hughes’ poetry of protest has become only more prescient.
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.
Jennifer Clement's latest novel, Prayers for the Stolen, maps the landscape of violence wrought on the people of Guerrero, Mexico by the drug wars and traces the story of some of its "stolen." THE ALIGNIST spoke with Clement about her response to the disappearance of 43 teaching students from the state last year and asked her how her work came to be one of social protest.
"A young black man, Henry Dumas, went through a turnstile at a New York City subway station," reads an invitation by Toni Morrison for a posthumous book-launch party she threw for Dumas in 1974, six years after he died. "A transit cop" — who was white — "shot him in the chest and killed him. Circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear. Before that happened, however, he had written some of the most beautiful, moving and profound poetry and fiction that I have ever in my life read."