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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Friday, July 25, 2014

Readings Signings

  • Grand unified theory: Severin Fowles on Catholic and Pueblo beliefs

    Catholic religion is a matter of choice, while Pueblo religion is a matter of being Pueblo.” Does this statement, from Severin Fowles’ book An Archaeology of Doings: Secularism and the Study of Pueblo Religion, help us understand how both belief systems can coexist on the pueblos?

  • Picturing a novel: Peter Heller's "The Painter"

    There’s plenty that’s familiar in Peter Heller’s new novel, The Painter: Canyon Road art galleries, the Tesuque Village Market, a certain hotel on Don Gaspar, Pasqual’s, thunderstorms in the Sangre de Cristos.

  • Singing the praises of Mann: Jazzman Herbie Mann

    We know from the subtitle of The Evolution of Mann: Herbie Mann and the Flute in Jazz that the book has a specific focus. “That’s because of all the things that Herbie did in bringing world music to jazz, I think the most important was to establish a language for the flute,” said Cary Ginell, the book’s author.

  • Dog days: A Rin Tin Tin round-up with Susan Orlean

    Orlean reads from her book, discusses her writing, introduces screenings of Clash of the Wolves — a Rin Tin Tin feature from 1925 — and helps judge a Rin Tin Tin lookalike contest on Saturday, May 17, at the Jean Cocteau Cinema.

  • Sons and mothers: Family ties in the works of Colm Tóibín

    The themes found in the work of Irish author Colm Tóibín are well known to his readers. They are often related to subjects we associate with Ireland — emigration, identity in terms of Catholicism and Protestantism, a focus on familial relationships, and struggles with sexuality, especially homosexuality. 

  • Roosts that rule: Designer birdhouses

    To judge from the imaginative birdhouses in Anne Schmauss’ new book, Birdhouses of the World, some birds are inhabiting stylish architecture of the sort most of us can only dream about. 

  • Out of this world: Journeys to O'Keeffe's Black Place

    There is a region of the Bisti Badlands, in northwestern New Mexico, that looks like the surface of a remote planet. It is almost totally devoid of life and is made up of strangely furrowed hills. There are whites, greens, yellows, and purples, but the dominant color is black. This is the museland that Georgia O’Keeffe called the Black Place.

  • The long view: Environmental activist Sandra Steingraber

    Sandra Steingraber is a mother, biologist, ecologist, science writer, poet, and cancer survivor. She is aware that it’s easier to dismiss her as hysterical — overly concerned with the potential for environmental contaminants to make us deathly ill — than it is to take action.

  • Mistress of mystery: Author Anne Perry

    Bestselling English author Anne Perry summed up her writing habits simply: "I'm awake and I'm working." Speaking to Pasatiempo from Los Angeles, the creator of two well-known Victorian-era detective series — the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, spanning 29 volumes, and the William Monk novels, soon to reach 20 volumes — interrupted her work routine for the sake of the interview. 

  • Conversations along the borders: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

    Author Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s recent collection of short stories, Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club, uses its namesake drinking establishment, a real bar in Juárez, as a touchstone for the book’s various characters. 

  • Mixed Media — Flyways and byways: David Sibley

    David Allen Sibley reshaped the world of birding when he introduced The Sibley Guide to Birds in 2000. Like John James Audubon and Roger Tory Peterson before him, Sibley is equal parts naturalist and artist.

  • Mixed Media – Giving voice: Amy Goodman

    The insistent tones of journalist, author, and broadcaster Amy Goodman have given voice to the world’s oppressed, disadvantaged, and persecuted for some 18 years on the syndicated, independent global news hour Democracy Now!

  • Seeing in the dark: Trevor Paglen’s artwork sheds light on state secrets

    With a telescopic lens and a geographer’s training, Trevor Paglen has been able to track down and take gorgeous, if occasionally out-of-focus, large-format photos of the mysterious Area 51 site in Nevada, the airplanes used for “extraordinary-rendition” flights, and U.S. domestic spy satellites. In an appearance backed by the Lannan Foundation, Paglen speaks with author Rebecca Solnit at the Lensic on Wednesday, March 19.

  • Committing to memory: David Stuart MacLean’s memoir of amnesia

    The way this worked — it wasn’t like Fred Flintstone getting bonked on the head and losing everything and then getting bonked on the head again and gaining everything back,” David Stuart MacLean told Pasatiempo, describing what it was like to have amnesia. “There would be moments when I would remember things and moments when nothing was there. And the terror that whatever was there would be gone in a second was the worst.”

  • Past lives: Author Judith Fein visits the Old Country

    For many people, the Old Country — the place from where our ancestors came — is nothing more than a hazy idea. We know our great-grandmother came over on a boat from Poland in the late 1800s, or that our grandfather left Russia when he was 5, or possibly it was in 1905. We don’t know the names of the villages they came from, and sometimes even their last names are a mystery, lost to time or the convenient phonetics of Ellis Island.

  • Troubled waters : Greg Grandin on Melville and slavery

    Historian Greg Grandin often assigned his students to read Benito Cereno, Herman Melville’s haunting 1855 novella about a slave-ship mutiny. Like many other readers, Grandin didn’t know at the outset that the events of the book’s central plot line actually took place. The story forms the basis of Grandin’s new book, The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World 

  • Into the black box: Author George Saunders wants to change your thinking.

    Enter any of the stories in author George Saunders’ latest collection — Tenth of December, published by Random House — and you’ll come out the other side changed. That’s exactly what Saunders wants. The tales are at once engaging, entertaining, and sometimes emotionally exhausting. Though not preachy, they bring you to a place where the connection you make with his characters, even the repulsive ones, opens your heart, if only a crack. 

  • Lines from the north: Poet and novelist Joan Naviyuk Kane

    Inupiaq writer Joan Naviyuk Kane’s literary imperatives — which include expositions grounded in life in the continent’s far north — can be glimpsed in the lines of her poems. She also deals with a heritage trauma: the forced relocation of her mother’s people from their King Island home in 1959.

  • Toward the family of man: Armistead Maupin

    With The Days of Anna Madrigal, Armistead Maupin closes the nearly 40-year saga of “family”life revolving around the title character’s boarding house at 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco. The ninth novel in his Tales of the City series has just been published by HarperCollins. Maupin gives a reading on Friday, Jan. 24, at the Lensic Performing Arts Center as part of a two-month book tour 

  • Mistaken identity: The misunderstood Bill Ayers

    Bill Ayers was a member of the Weather Underground during the Vietnam War, but he never killed anyone. He once hosted a small party for Barack Obama, but he did not write Obama’s book Dreams From My Father, despite sometimes saying he did when asked (as he continues to be, again and again). Bill Ayers also didn’t conspire with the president to create Common Core standards in education as a nefarious communist plot against America — first off because he barely knows Obama, and secondly because he strongly opposes the Common Core.

  • Dark side of the "Sunland": Don Waters’ debut novel

    Don Waters’ first novel, Sunland (published by University of Nevada Press), has two settings, one inside the other. The encompassing landscape is the Southwest — also the scene of many of the short stories collected in his 2007 book Desert Gothic, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Award given by the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was published by University of Iowa Press.

  • Damsels who distress: A new anthology of "Dangerous Women"

    Collecting stories under the title "Dangerous Women" seems risky — even provocative. The fact that both editors of the collection are men makes it more suspect. That these men — Garnder Dozois and George R.R. Martin — are known for their work in fantasy and science fiction makes one wonder if the book would include real women facing real situations.

  • Sticks & stoned: Marijuana smugglers’ tales of yore

    Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away — otherwise known as the early 1970s — high-grade cannabis was so hard to come by in the U.S. that the counterculture took to sailing boats across the Pacific packed with Thai stick, the artisan ganja of Southeast Asia, grown by isolated tribes who lived far up the Mekong River.

  • Write club: The Dark Room Collective puts poetry in focus

    To get a feel for what it might have been like at a presentation of the Dark Room Collective, the group of poets that began gathering in 1988 in a Victorian house in Massachusetts, go to a collection of poetry from another African-American poetry collective, known as Cave Canem.

  • A ghastly good read: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s new thriller

    Douglas Preston claims he has no trouble sleeping at night. That isn’t always the case for readers of the novels he writes with creative co-conspirator Lincoln Child.

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