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Ghost writer

The haunted world of Kelly Link
Salted throughout Kelly Link’s stories, you’ll find Buffy , Bust , Doc Martens, IM-ing, Target, Google, Vicks VapoRub, a T-shirt that reads I’M SO GOTH I SHIT TINY VAMPIRES.  
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  October 02, 2008


Literary import

Ploughshares lands a new editor
One of the first things Ladette Randolph tells me is that she’s a fifth-generation Nebraskan, that her great-great grandparents settled there, that the landscape there, particularly in the western part of the state, where her novel is set, is “like being in the middle of the ocean — that kind of erasure.”
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  September 24, 2008


Horse Feathers | House With No Home

Kill Rock Stars (2008)
It’s not a sad album, but it is mournful, in the hushed and satisfying way that Sunday afternoons in November can be.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  September 23, 2008


David Foster Wallace — 1962–2008

Overhead baggage
A story called “Forever Overhead” by David Foster Wallace appeared in the 1992 edition of Best American Short Stories .
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  September 26, 2008


Hoot and challah

Silver Jews, Middle East Downstairs, September 5, 2008
Watching Berman on stage, you couldn’t be sure. Is he into it? Does he like this?
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  September 10, 2008


Love us, don't leave us

Advice from sadder but wiser Bostonians
Let’s skip the sugarcoating. Boston can be a tricky place.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  September 02, 2008


Out of this world

Benjamin Rosenbaum’s The Ant King
The worlds Rosenbaum creates feel less like a separate or “alternate” reality and more like a colorful, if complicated, extension of the one we know.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  August 26, 2008


Parlor salon

Spreading the words in Salem
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  July 16, 2008


Exte: Hair Extensions

Creepy and bizarro hair-raising horror
The film rises above satire with chilling and deftly shot set pieces of hair strangling, flinging, and burying its victims.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  July 16, 2008


My Father My Lord

Hushed, dun-colored, and beautifully shot
Volach overdoes the quoting from the Torah, but the intimacy of each shot and the quiet force from each character elevate the film to the level of parable.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  June 25, 2008


Confessions of an editor

DeWitt Henry's candid new collection of essays meditates on manhood
There’s a quiet courage in these essays, and a revelatory sense of the continuing challenge of pressing on.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  June 20, 2008


A Jihad for Love

Potent subject matter overshadowed by special effects
Homosexuality is illegal and highly punishable in the Muslim world (being stoned to death is a possibility); the faces of many of Sharma’s subjects are blurred to conceal their identity.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  June 25, 2008


Bigger, Stronger, Faster*

Steroids and a culture of competition
The film, both informative and poignant, is peopled with a cross-section of users, experts, politicians, pro athletes, and gym rats with melon-sized biceps.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  June 04, 2008



Potent but trudging
As one activist says, “It’s the naïveté of young people that can change history.”
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  May 28, 2008


Obama bicycle cycle

Mat Honan will start your new online fad
In case you haven’t already heard, Barack Obama is your new bicycle.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  February 27, 2008



Religious groups and the environment
They avoid religious cheerleading and tree-huggery; instead, their film demonstrates that when it comes to keeping the earth from getting wrecked beyond repair, it isn’t a matter of us versus them.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  February 20, 2008


Academy Award Nominated Shorts 2007

Unchallenging and underwhelming
“Madame Tutli-Putli,” about a woman on a nightmarish night train, has the look of an animated Egon Schiele drawing.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  February 13, 2008


Doodle bugs

Brushes with greatness
Every teen mag worth its weight in heartthrobs can tell you what your notebook doodlings reveal about your personality.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  January 02, 2008

Note By Note: The Making of Steinway L1037

Loving, but tedious
Tuners with perfect pitch tighten and loosen strings for hours by ear.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  December 26, 2007


Prison professor

A literary prize that really helps
There are lots of small presses. Dzanc Books, based near Detroit, is one of them, but it’s not like the rest.
By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  December 05, 2007
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