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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 Sobering Meeting With ‘The Recovering’ Author Leslie Jamison

When Leslie Jamison’s book of essays, The Empathy Exams, came out in 2014, it established her as one of the stars of a new wave of women writing nonfiction that felt urgently relevant. The essays blended personal writing and journalism; Jamison’s point of view was powerful and flexible, encompassing both an expansive humanity and a jeweler’s eye for the strange and unsettling.
DAME Magazine Link to Story
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The women who wielded a pen like a weapon: Michelle Dean's 'Sharp'

In the 1987 movie "Broadcast News," a male colleague, angry at having to admit that Holly Hunter's character, a television producer, is right about something, shoots this line at her: "It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you're the smartest person in the room." Hunter responds, huskily and urgently, a tear forming in her eye, "No, it's awful."
Los Angeles Times Link to Story
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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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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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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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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
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Tom Perrotta on Sex, the Suburbs, and his new MILF

When Tom Perrotta and his wife, Mary Granfield, sent their second child off to college two years ago, they found themselves navigating a brand new life stage. “Parenting becomes this career,” he says. “You’re in the thick of it, and then suddenly it’s – not quite over, but it doesn’t take up a huge amount of space anymore, and there’s a sense of reassessment of one’s adult life.”.
Los Angeles Times Link to Story
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For Rob Sheffield, the Beatles Are a Love Story

Growing up in Milton, Rob Sheffield spent a lot of time in the town’s public library, sitting in a chair with big headphones over his ears, listening to every Beatles record he could find. Introduced to the band by his older sisters, Sheffield was a fan from an early age. In “Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World,” Sheffield’s fifth book, he writes about what he calls “the world’s most passionately beloved band,” one whose music remapped popular culture and whose legacy somehow seems eternal.
The Boston Globe 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.