What John Grisham Doesn't Understand About Mass Incarceration

Big Man on Commercial Novelist Campus John Grisham has told a London newspaper that he is concerned about America's jails. Specifically, he is worried that they are becoming stuffed with old white men, which he seems to have defined primarily as friends of his who, in his view, innocently enjoy underage porn. » 10/16/14 11:05am Thursday 11:05am

The Top 3 Reasons Philip Roth Is Not Likely To Win the Nobel Tomorrow

Every year when Nobel time rolls around, people say America's Last Top Novelist Philip Roth should get it. Sometimes, those people are Philip Roth. In the New York Times, Dwight Garner quotes him today: "I wonder if I had called 'Portnoy's Complaint' 'The Orgasm Under Rapacious Capitalism,' if I would thereby have… » 10/08/14 1:10pm 10/08/14 1:10pm

Nickelodeon Nostalgia Superfan Reveals Himself to Be Clueless White Guy

Flavorwire interviewed Matthew Klickstein, a man you've never heard of before, about his book, SLIMED! An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age. Mid-interview he decided to wax philosophic about diversity in the terms above. Now, I suspect, his "woman" publicist and "woman" editor both wish he were dead. » 10/07/14 10:02am 10/07/14 10:02am

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeals in All 7 Same Sex Marriage Cases

In a somewhat surprising move, the Supreme Court this morning issued orders denying appeals in all seven of the same-sex marriage cases before it. They made no comment in the order as to why they were denying certiorari. » 10/06/14 10:47am 10/06/14 10:47am

Respected Creative Writing Prof Charged With Downloading Child Porn

He is not a household name, but Kirk Nesset is the author of several books — fiction, nonfiction, poetry — good enough to land him a position as a professor of creative writing at Allegheny College. And as of Wednesday, he's also facing federal child porn charges. » 10/03/14 3:35pm 10/03/14 3:35pm

Why the New Anti-Abortion Ruling Is Horrible Bullshit: A Primer

Late yesterday, the Fifth Circuit handed down a decision which, as every headline (including ours) will tell you, threatens to close most of the abortion clinics left in Texas. This is beyond awful because thousands of women will be without health care. » 10/03/14 1:47pm 10/03/14 1:47pm

Are Anti-Vaccinators Stupid or Disingenuous? A Q&A With Eula Biss

It's not often that you find a literary essayist wandering into contemporary political debates, these days. But in her new book On Immunity: An Innoculation, Eula Biss wades calmly, lucidly into a subject that has most people screaming in under 15 seconds on talk shows: vaccination. » 9/30/14 9:55am 9/30/14 9:55am

Will the Supreme Court Pick a Gay-Marriage Case in Today's Meeting?

Keep one eye on the Supreme Court today and tomorrow, as it holds its "Long Conference" about all the petitions it got over the summer. In the mix are five cases asking the same question: Are bans on same-sex marriage constitutional? Join me below as I split into multiple personalities to explain it. » 9/29/14 12:20pm 9/29/14 12:20pm

The End of the Mitford Sisters

Deborah Mitford, the last of the "Mitford Girls," died this week in England at the age of 94. She and her five sisters, Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity and Jessica (called Decca), were the Middletons of their day. That is, if Kate had literary talent, and was ever called upon to utter a political opinion. And if Pippa… » 9/26/14 9:45am 9/26/14 9:45am