Arts

The Arts

BOOK COVER - The Life of the Mind, by Christine Smallwood

Farcical ‘Life Of The Mind’ Skewers Academic Life And Adjunct ‘Hell’

The Life of the Mind is about endings that dribble to a close, the inexorable erosion of dreams, the slow leak of youthful buoyancy. It’s about being young-ish at a time in history when it feels like many things might be fading away, including the natural world. The great accomplishment of Smallwood’s taut novel is that while it is, indeed, about all those grim subjects, it’s also one of the wittiest, most deliciously farcical novels I’ve read in a long time. Continue Reading Farcical ‘Life Of The Mind’ Skewers Academic Life And Adjunct ‘Hell’

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In The Father, Anthony Hopkins plays a man with dementia, and Olivia Coleman is the daughter whose name he occasionally forgets. CREDIT: Sean Gleason/Sony Pictures Classics

FILM REVIEW: In ‘The Father,’ Anthony Hopkins’ Mind Is Playing Tricks On Him — And On You

There have been many fine films over the past several years about characters struggling with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, like Away From Her, Still Alice and the recent Colin Firth/Stanley Tucci drama Supernova. But few of them have gone as deeply and unnervingly into the recesses of a deteriorating mind as The Father, a powerful new chamber drama built around a mesmerizing lead performance from Anthony Hopkins. Continue Reading FILM REVIEW: In ‘The Father,’ Anthony Hopkins’ Mind Is Playing Tricks On Him — And On You

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James Levine conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2007. CREDIT: Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

James Levine, Former Met Conductor Fired After Abuse Allegations, Dies At 77

James Levine, the immensely accomplished conductor who wielded power and influence in the classical world, and whose singular tenure at the Metropolitan Opera ended in a flurry of accusations of sexual abuse, died on March 9 in Palm Springs, Calif. His physician of 17 years, Dr. Len Horovitz, confirmed his death to NPR, saying that Levine died of natural causes. He was 77 years old. Continue Reading James Levine, Former Met Conductor Fired After Abuse Allegations, Dies At 77

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BOOK REVIEW: Story Collection Puts A Ghostly Spin On Digital ‘Reality’

In John Lanchester’s collection, Reality and Other Stories, the supernatural manifests itself through cell phones, social media, computers, reality tv shows, and smart houses. “Signal,” the opening story, was originally published in The New Yorker and it’s a standout: an eerie homage to Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw. Continue Reading BOOK REVIEW: Story Collection Puts A Ghostly Spin On Digital ‘Reality’

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Once Upon a A Quinceañera, by Monica Gomez-Hira

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Once Upon A Quinceañera’ Has Fairy Tale Charm

Once Upon a Quinceañera opens in Miami, the summer after Carmen Aguilar’s senior year. Due to an incomplete internship credit, Carmen has yet to graduate high school. So she’s working for an event company called Dreams Come True, where she dresses up as a singing, dancing Disney Princess for birthday parties. She’s at one of these parties (dressed as Belle) with her best friend Waverly (dressed as Cinderella), when a Beast shows up who is not Carmen’s usual partner. Continue Reading BOOK REVIEW: ‘Once Upon A Quinceañera’ Has Fairy Tale Charm

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The Committed, by Viet Thanh Nguyen

BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Committed’ Remains Uncommitted — And That’s Its Strength

With smoke-and-mirrors panache, The Committed — Viet Thanh Nguyen’s sequel to The Sympathizer — continues the travails of our Eurasian Ulysses, now relocated to France and self-identified as Vo Danh (which literally means “Nameless”). Having survived a communist reeducation camp, a perilous sea crossing, and a long sojourn in an Indonesian refugee center, he arrives in Paris on July 18, 1981 — the birthday of Nelson Mandela — to become, once again, a refugee. Continue Reading BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Committed’ Remains Uncommitted — And That’s Its Strength

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Dr. Seuss is seen here in his La Jolla, Calif., home in 1957. Gene Lester/Getty Images

Dr. Seuss Enterprises Will Shelve 6 Books, Citing ‘Hurtful’ Portrayals

Dr. Seuss Enterprises will cease publishing six of the author’s books — including And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street and If I Ran the Zoo — saying they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” The books have been criticized for how they depict Asian and Black people. Continue Reading Dr. Seuss Enterprises Will Shelve 6 Books, Citing ‘Hurtful’ Portrayals

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