Issue 2.2

[Yes, I saw them all, saw them, met some, Richard Hell]

Yes, I saw them all, saw them, met some, Richard Hell, Lou Reed, Basquiat, Warhol, Burroughs, Kenneth Koch, and it all left me feeling invisible or fucked, fucked sideways, fucked by a john who stiffs you on your fee and doesn’t leave a tip, it wasn . . . RESTRICTED CONTENT Tbis content is restricted to paid subscribers with digital access only. Non-subscribers may purchase a PDF of this article by clicking the “Purchase PDF”

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‘A Year on Earth with Mr. Hell’ by Young Kim

Omnibus Press, May 2023, 254 pp. “EVERYONE THINKS THEY know what a love affair is. But what is a love affair really?” Young Kim asks this right off the bat in her debut memoir, A Year on Earth with Mr. Hell, the subject of which is her own personal experience of two love affairs with punk elders: Malcolm McLaren and Richard Hell. Purchase “A Year on Earth with Mr. Hell” After a Long Island childhood,

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‘Hit Parade of Tears: Stories’ By Izumi Suzuki

VERSO, APRIL 2023, 288 PP. THIS NEWLY TRANSLATED collection of Izumi Suzuki’s short stories first published more than forty years ago is jaunty, odd, violent, femme-centric, funny—but what strikes me most is its freshness. A few charming period details (the presence of a Walkman, cassette tapes, a rotary phone, the novelty of color TV) dotted here and there allow the reader to set the action in the ’80s, but the stories, a mixtape of moods

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‘On Women’ by Susan Sontag, edited by David Rieff

MACMILLAN, MAY 2023, 208 PP. SUSAN ROSENBLATT WAS born in 1933 into a household that she would later describe as an utter cultural wasteland. Her family moved frequently, from New York to Arizona to California. Her father, a fur trader who worked in China, died of tuberculosis when she was five. Her stepfather, Nathan Sontag, a fatuous army captain whose last name Susan was nevertheless happy to take—“I didn’t enjoy being called a dirty kike”—told

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‘House of Cotton’ by Monica Brashears

FLATIRON, APRIL 2023, 304 PP. HALFWAY THROUGH MONICA Brashears’s debut House of Cotton, the narrator, Magnolia, observes, “Grief makes people slapstick.” Until then, I wasn’t entirely sure what sort of novel I was reading. The story is told by a young woman who takes a very strange job in a funeral parlor during a down-and-out period of poverty, loss, and sexual compulsion. With its Brothers Grimm epigraphs, leitmotif of fairy tale references, and folksy-profane vernacular,

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‘Our Share of Night’ by Mariana Enriquez, translated by Megan McDowell

HOGARTH, FEBRUARY 2023, 608 PP. “I THINK POLITICAL violence leaves scars, like a national PTSD,” the Argentine journalist and fiction writer Mariana Enriquez said in a 2018 interview with LitHub. “The scale of the cruelty in political violence,” she continued, “always seems like the blackest magic to me. Like they have to satisfy some ravenous and ancient god that demands not only bodies but needs to be fed their suffering as well.” Enriquez’s 2019 debut

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‘The Road to the City’ By Natalia Ginzburg, Translated by Gini Alhadeff

NEW DIRECTIONS, JULY 2023, 96 PP. THE ROAD TO the City is, at face value, apolitical. In an afterword from 1964, when Natalia Ginzburg was forty-eight, she describes the conception and creation of this, her first published book: “And I remembered how my mother, whenever she read a novel that was too long and tedious, would say, ‘What a blathering bore!’ […] I felt the impulse to write  something my mother might like. So, to

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‘Sirens & Muses’ by Antonia Angress and ‘My Last Innocent Year’ by Daisy Alpert Florin

BALLANTINE BOOKS, JULY 2022, 368 PP. IF ART ALLOWS humans to touch the sublime, then one can’t help but ask where we went so wrong with art school, that expensive immersion in the petty and profane. Two recent debut novels recreate the world of visual and literary arts programs replete with the glittering currency of gossip and connections, the students who nourish their envy and grievances as much as their talent, and the professors who

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“Naudline Pierre: What Could Be Has Not Yet Appeared’, & ‘This Is Not All There Is’

Naudline Pierre, Tell Me Where it Hurts, Oil on canvas, 66 x 48 in., 2020. ©Naudline Pierre, 2023. Images courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York. ONCE, WHILE VISITING a friend who studied architecture in the Italian Alps, I tagged along on a field trip to the Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana just across the Swiss border. Looking out a facade of glass onto the Lago di Lugano, hemmed in by tapered mountains,

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