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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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Why Do Women Love True Crime?

The first murder I remember was a ghost story, told at my summer camp in Michigan. I was around 12, so this was in the time of disco. At night, in a dark cabin, a girl told the rest of us about her older sister’s friend. Or maybe her friend’s older cousin: one of those twice-removed protagonists of a supposedly true account.
The New York Times Link to Story
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Ibram X. Kendi explores why ‘not racist’ doesn’t equal ‘anti-racist’

Kendi starts his book “How to Be an Antiracist” in 2000, when he was a high school senior delivering a speech in an oratorical contest. “The ideas that I shared in that speech were racist,” Kendi said. “That speech that I gave while in high school was probably the clearest indication of just how many anti-black racist ideas I had consumed.”.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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In ‘Trick Mirror,’ the face of a major new talent

Back when she was 16, Jia Tolentino appeared on a reality television show called “Girls v. Boys: Puerto Rico,” in which a group of eight teenagers were set against each other to compete in a series of tasks in pursuit of a large cash prize. This was the fourth season of a show that began airing in 2003 — “the heyday of reality television,” Tolentino writes, “a relatively innocent time, before the bleak long trail of the industry had revealed itself.”.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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Debut Book Tells Of The Real-Life Longings And Frustrations Of 'Three Women'

Female desire has been seen as a problem since long before Freud, vexed, wondered what on Earth women want. Entire vocabularies of insult are devoted to girls and women who dare to proclaim their existence as sexual beings. The protagonists in Lisa Taddeo's new book, Three Women, are not unusual in their complicated sexual histories; what makes their stories revolutionary is the exquisite candor with which Taddeo gives them voice.
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Review: ‘No Visible Bruises’ is both reportage and manifesto about domestic violence

Michelle and Rocky got together young, and quickly. By the time Michelle was just 17, the couple had two young children, but she still graduated from high school on time. Her family saw her as strong, smart, and proud. But they saw her less and less, as Rocky increasingly controlled her with violence and threats of violence.
Los Angeles Times Link to Story
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Therapist Lori Gottlieb talks about the therapists that therapists go to

As a clinical psychologist, Lori Gottlieb was helping her patients fix their lives but couldn’t seem to handle her own. She was reeling from a catastrophic breakup, struggling with shame and confusion as she reckoned with midlife, and trapped in a contract to produce a book she didn’t want to write.
Los Angeles Times Link to Story
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On the braided history of schools and courts

For Justin Driver, his book’s topic is personal. “I grew up in Southeast DC, in the less privileged segment of Washington,” said Driver, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. His parents, who stressed educational achievement, enrolled him in a better public school far from their own struggling neighborhood.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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Sarah McColl’s ‘Joy Enough’ shares a daughter’s love for her mother — and the pain of her death

The death of a parent is one of adulthood’s most common rites of passage, the fellowship of grief a club most of us join sooner or later. And, of course, there’s nothing new in writing about losing a parent. When Sarah McColl began a graduate creative writing program, she took to calling her workshop “the dead mother parade,” and her brother teased her by asking whether she was really in graduate school or just a “two-year grief program.”.
Los Angeles Times Link to Story
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Review of Stephanie Land's Maid

“My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter,” writes Stephanie Land. It’s a devastating opening line to Land’s memoir of poverty, parenting, and survival. The sentence will jar readers — it did me — and at the same time it raises the question: Just what does it look like to live in a homeless shelter with your infant?
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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Robin DiAngelo Wants White People to Confront Their Racism

In her 20 years’ training and educating diverse groups of people on the issues of race and social justice, Robin DiAngelo has seen it all: denial, defensiveness, and rivers of white tears. For Parlour, I spoke with DiAngelo about her new book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, and how well-meaning white parents are among the most invested in pretending not to understand racism.
DAME Magazine Link to Story
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Exploring the dark mystery of suicide

Joan Wickersham’s book “The Suicide Index: Putting My Father’s Death In Order” was published in 2008. Not much has changed in the intervening decade. “It’s amazing to me that that came out 10 years ago,” Wickersham said. “I keep reading stories about suicide — and there have been a couple of very high-profile suicides in the past year — and it seems like each time the reaction is a kind of bafflement and this attempt to figure out why.”.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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Writing stories that move like poems

Maryse Meijer’s debut was a short story collection. For her second book, the Chicago author experimented with new forms. “I really was tired of struggling with the connective tissue that you always have to pay attention to when you’re writing fiction,” Meijer said. “I was reading a lot of poetry, and I just admired how easily they could just cut to the idea or image or feeling that was the most potent.
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, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Salon, Atlantic.com, and elsewhere. Native Kansan, longtime Cantabrigian, lately of Georgia, now in New Jersey. Mother, wife, pal.

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