The Mexican journalist turned novelist Fernanda Melchor’s This Is Not Miami looks unsentimentally at crime and violence. Unable to address its structural causes, Melchor’s characters create mythical explanations of human cruelty.
Jess Cotton is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Cambridge University.
Dressed in radical language, Jenny Odell’s new book, Saving Time, offers up positive thinking as a solution to exploitation. But the real reason people don’t have enough spare time is that low wages and high rents force them to work constantly.
Sexual activity among Americans is in decline, prompting moralizing about the end of romance and traditional gender roles. But the real problem is that people lack the economic and personal freedom to pursue their desires.
Rather than uncovering the dark secrets of the royal family, Prince Harry’s new book, Spare, embodies its worst traits. It’s a monument to a culture of narcissism and cruelty cultivated by a family completely unaware of the lives of ordinary people.
Last week, Annie Ernaux won the Nobel Prize in Literature for her courage in interrogating France’s collective memory. Her work has been concerned with the lives of working-class women, which her books have treated with an uncommon dignity and respect.
The writer Barbara Ehrenreich, who died earlier this month, believed in a humanistic Marxism. Nowhere was this conviction more on display than in her writings on the sexism and cruelty of America’s for-profit health care system.
Audrey Diwan’s film adaptation of Annie Ernaux’s abortion memoir, Happening, captures the violence and drama of its source material. It depicts a time when sex, for young women — without the resources of contraception and abortion — carried unfathomable consequences.
Socialists use the slogan “bread and roses” to emphasize the equal importance of pleasure and material security. In Orwell’s Roses, Rebecca Solnit attempts to renew this rallying cry, but the result is a hymn to liberalism and a hollow vision of politics.
Often associated with the middle class, psychoanalysis is a means of reflecting on human suffering that should be accessible to all.