Habibi by Craig Thompson

From Web Exclusives

Minimalism is in, but beauty isn’t always simple. It can be as intricate as calligraphy or as complicated as love. Beauty can be slender, or it can be opulent, like 672-pages-enshrouded-in-an-ornate-hardcover-binding opulent. This is what Craig Thompson has proved in his long-anticipated graphic novel, Habibi. In this work, Thompson has created something truly spectacular by infusing more instead of less into every pen-stroke, metaphor, and plot twist. … Continue Reading »

Art and Madness: A Memoir of Lust Without Reason

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Standing on my tiptoes, I shifted my view through the bookshelves to the semi-circle of editors sitting at the front of the bookstore. The staff of a prominent journal was having a discussion on the future of publishing at McNally Jackson Bookstore in Soho, and I was one of many who crammed into the tote-bag haven hoping to absorb the aura of the prestigious journal. I moved to New York City to be close to the literary scene… . Continue Reading »

A Review of Chastened

From the January 2011 Print Edition

Chastened: The Unexpected Story of My Year Without Sex by Hephzibah Anderson Viking, 288 pages, $25.95 A “year without sex” doesn’t mean what you might think it means. In Hephzibah Anderson’s memoir about a self-directed year of chastity, she doesn’t actually pursue . . . . Continue Reading »

Curious George at the Jewish Museum

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A young couple secures their meager luggage and mounts their bicycles. They are fleeing Paris, and they are escaping just in time. Two days later, the Nazis march in. The couple pedals quickly, covering seventy-five miles in three days. When they board a train to Lisbon, they breathe a sigh of relief. That is, until the authorities pull them aside… . Continue Reading »

How to Create a Heresy

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Heresy is easy to scrounge up. All one needs is the Bible. I mean just the Bible. And that is exactly how Slate editor David Plotz cooked up a carefree pot of blasphemies in his recent book Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Word of the Bible.

While bored during his cousin’s bat mitzvah, Plotz”“a proud Jew, but never a very observant one””unsuspectingly picked up the Bible on the pew in front of him and started reading. Unfortunately (or fortunately), he just happened to open it up to the story of Dinah. He was so shocked by the grim sexual details, and the fact that he had never heard them before, that he decided then and there to read the entire book and blog his responses to it. “Blogging the Bible” then became this book in which Plotz chronicles his interpretations and summaries to nearly every chapter of the Hebrew Bible. His goal was simple: “find out what happens when an ignorant person actually reads the book on which his religion is based.” Continue Reading »

Are you Ready?

From Web Exclusives

Before many Christians are ready for the rapture, they apparently have a lot of baggage to unpack. Lucky for them, Daniel Radosh has taken it upon himself to shake out all their dirty laundry. In his recently published book, Rapture Ready! Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop . . . . Continue Reading »

The Emerging Church and Its Critics

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Order a pint of Guinness, turn up Coldplay, and meet me in the corner booth of our local pub because I want to tell you a story.Rushing to finish Why We’re Not Emergent , I balance against the train’s jolts while furiously underlining various passages. I live in Bushwick, . . . . Continue Reading »