Author: JohnValbyNation

Ayşegül Savaş on Imitation and Identity

In “Canvas” the narrator, a graduate student, is renting an apartment from an older woman, an artist named Agnes. The artist has arranged to use her studio there whenever she visits the city, yet while the two women sometimes share the same space, they barely know each other. What does that type of relationship—one of…

By JohnValbyNation May 28, 2019 0

The Impeccably Understated Modernism of I. M. Pei

In John Updike’s story “Gesturing,” first published in 1980, the newly separated Richard Maple finds himself in a Boston apartment with a view of a startling new skyscraper. “The skyscraper, for years suspended in a famous state of incompletion, was a beautiful disaster,” Updike writes, “famous because it was a disaster (glass kept falling from…

By JohnValbyNation May 28, 2019 0

Ta-Nehisi Coates Revisits the Case for Reparations

Listen with: iTunes WNYC Stitcher TuneIn When Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote “The Case for Reparations” for The Atlantic, in 2014, he didn’t expect the government to make reparations anytime soon. He told David Remnick that he had a more modest goal. “My notion,” Coates says, “was you could get people to stop laughing.” For Coates, to…

By JohnValbyNation May 28, 2019 0

Is America Ready to Make Reparations?

Listen with: iTunes WNYC Stitcher TuneIn Late in the Civil War, the Union general William T. Sherman confiscated four hundred thousand acres of land from Confederate planters and ordered it redistributed, in forty-acre lots, to formerly enslaved people—a promise revoked by President Andrew Johnson almost as soon as it was made. More than a hundred…

By JohnValbyNation May 27, 2019 0

The Case to Impeach Trump for Bigotry

On May 16th, Representative Al Green, as he has many times since 2017, stood on the House floor to implore his colleagues to initiate impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump, this time with a copy of the Mueller report in hand and an American-flag tie on his collar. “Since [the report’s] release, we have had…

By JohnValbyNation May 27, 2019 0

Sunday Reading: School Drama

In 1970, Roger Angell wrote an essay for The New Yorker on the courage and resolve of young students in the aftermath of the Kent State University shootings. “Only the very young are capable of such a quick and deep swing of emotions,” he wrote. Angell recognized that campus life, even absent tragedy, often unfolds…

By JohnValbyNation May 27, 2019 0