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Kate Tuttle

Writer & Critic

Kate Tuttle

Writing on books and authors, race and politics, family and childhood.

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A memoir of a troubled mind

Sandra Allen had just begun graduate school as a student of creative nonfiction when she got a phone call from a number she didn’t recognize. “It was my uncle, a self-described hermit who lived alone in the desert,” Allen said. Her sparse memories of him came from family vacations on a Minnesota lake.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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Talking with Morgan Jerkins

Morgan Jerkins’s first book, “This Will Be My Undoing,” is an essay collection that ranges from intimate stories about childhood, religion, and sexuality to broader cultural criticism on topics of race, gender, politics, and power. When asked whether she always knew the book would be so energetic and ambitious, the 25-year-old author said, “Yes!
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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Is the Solidarity of Sisterhood a Myth?

Today’s cultural conversation around gender and power, turbocharged ever since allegations of sexual assault and harassment took down Harvey Weinstein, has been a long time coming. The #MeToo movement, pioneered by Tarana Burke, grew into a juggernaut on social media, a communal reckoning that both demanded men be held accountable for their actions, and invited women to share their stories of being sexually harassed and assaulted.
DAME Magazine Link to Story
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Stories that form the DNA of a culture

As a professor of English and comparative literature at Harvard, Martin Puchner has built a life and career around books and stories. But there are some stories whose influence exceeds the norm. “Foundational texts,” Puchner said, “are texts that become reference points for an entire culture.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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Story Behind the Book: Oliver de la Paz

When the Globe caught up with poet Oliver de la Paz, he was in his car, waiting in a school pickup line. De la Paz, who teaches at Holy Cross, was a poet long before he became a father, but in his most recent work he grapples with the beauty and difficulty of both roles. His children feature prominently in de la Paz’s current manuscript in process, from which he’ll read as the headliner of this year’s Lesley University Winter Series.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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Tracing the roots of misogyny to ancient Greece and Rome with Mary Beard

The classicist Mary Beard opens her book “Women & Power” with a scene out of the Odyssey. Penelope leaves her room to approach the assorted suitors who more or less occupy her mansion, waiting for her to give up on long-lost Odysseus and marry one of them. When she requests they stop singing such songs, she is met with resistance from the youngest male there: Her adolescent son, Telemachus, chastises her. Return to your room, he tells her; public speaking is for men.
Los Angeles Times Link to Story
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Jaclyn Friedman Wants to 'Unscrew' Systemic Sexism

She’s spoken on college campuses, television and radio shows, and her own podcast, Unscrewed, about issues of sexual liberation. In her new book Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power, and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All, Friedman tackles all of it—the whole tangled web of entrenched, systemic sexism and all its modern iterations.
DAME Magazine Link to Story
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Once Upon a Time in Ikea

If we were really Hansel and Gretel, we’d walk through wolf-filled woods, the sky dark, a bright moon overhead. Here, we wander amid a bright thicket of beds and dressers, desks and chairs. There are arrows painted on the floor, but these feel unnecessary. Most everyone in the Ikea showroom stays on the path, an amiable herd only aware we are walking together when someone comes at us the wrong way.
Europe Now Link to Story
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Girls, Don’t Become Boy Scouts

The news arrived on Oct. 11, a day — as Facebook reminded us — designated as the International Day of the Girl. On the surface, it even seemed like it might be a progressive change: The Boy Scouts of America announced that it would allow girls to participate in Cub Scouts and to eventually earn Eagle Scout rank.
The New York Times Link to Story
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The NBCC President on In Cold Blood, White Male Critics, and Reasoned Criticism vs. Promotion

Welcome to Secrets of the Book Critics, a new feature in which books journalists from around the US share their thoughts on beloved classics, overlooked recents gems, misconceptions about the industry, and the changing nature of literary criticism in the age of social media. Each week we’ll spotlight a critic from a different part of the country, bringing you behind the curtain of publications both national and regional, large and small.
LitHub Link to Story
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Talking With Ruby Karp, the Upright Teen Feminist Citizen

At 17, Ruby Karp has a résumé more impressive than most folks twice her age. She’s done a TEDx talk, appeared with Amy Poehler on her video series “Smart Girls at the Party,” and had her byline appear in publications like Refinery29, Mashable, and Hello Giggles. She hosts a monthly standup show at the Upright Citizens Brigade, whose website notes that she’s been performing there “since she was a fetus.”.
DAME Magazine Link to Story
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Salman Rushdie on the opulent realism of his new novel, 'The Golden House'

“I’m on the Technicolor end,” said Salman Rushdie. He was talking about the kind of realism you’ll find in “The Golden House,” his new novel. “If realism goes from Raymond Carver to James Joyce,” he explained, “It’s realism, but it’s kind of amped up, boosted.”. Interviewed in the Manhattan office of his longtime agent, Andrew Wylie, Rushdie was jovial and charming, a voluble conversationalist not only about the art of fiction but also on topics as diverse as the politics of place names and the different ways to grip the paddle when playing ping-pong.
Los Angeles Times Link to Story

About

Kate Tuttle

I'm currently serving as President of the National Book Critics Circle. My reviews and articles about books have appeared in the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Salon, Atlantic.com, and elsewhere. Native Kansan, longtime Cantabrigian, falling in love with Decatur, Georgia.

Feel free to email me at kate.tuttle@gmail.com.