Open-uri20180430-4-ggw3hi_thumb

Kate Tuttle

Writer & Critic

Kate Tuttle

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

Open-uri20180802-4-1wp6eil_profile

Anne Tyler’s Latest Heroine Quits Cushy Arizona for Quirky Baltimore

In 1986, Anne Tyler wrote an appreciation in this newspaper of one of her favorite childhood books, “The Little House,” by Virginia Lee Burton. The book was a gift, she wrote, one she received in 1945 on her fourth birthday and has kept ever since. It tells the story of a house, built in the countryside but eventually engulfed by a burgeoning city, then moved, years later, to a new place in the country.
The New York Times Link to Story
Open-uri20180802-4-y667d4_profile

Emory professor examines how school desegregation went wrong

For decades the story of school desegregation has been told as a heroic narrative starring NAACP lawyers and brave African-American students, in which the Supreme Court victory in Brown v. Board of Education marked the beginning of a new era of equality for black and white schoolchildren. In a new book, Emory Professor Vanessa Siddle Walker introduces readers to previously little-known actors in the drama: the Southern black educators who worked, often in secret, to help African-American students and their families both before and after Brown.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Link to Story
Open-uri20180802-4-1y6ish0_profile

Why a certain slur hasn’t gone away

The journalist Allison Yarrow remembers seeing an online quiz that surprised her. It invited users to learn “Which ’90s Bitch Are You?”. At the time, she was surprised — “I hadn’t really thought of the ’90s as returning for reassessment or nostalgic treatment” — but it sparked the idea for her new book.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
Open-uri20180802-4-k1ut06_profile

Researching his own life

As long as he’s been writing fiction, Alexander Chee has also produced essays. The author of two novels, “Edinburgh” in 2001, and 2016’s “The Queen of the Night,” this spring Chee published his first nonfiction book, titled “How to Write an Autobiographical Novel.”. The book began with an invitation.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
Open-uri20180714-4-1cm3ncz_profile

Nigerian couple wrestles with infertility, political upheaval

Ayòbámi Adébáyò started working on “Stay With Me” in 2011. “I began with initially what I felt was a short story,” she said, of a married couple having their last fight before finally separating. “I felt that story was done, but I just felt there was something just beneath the surface that I was not able to access yet.” It took five years, and “at least seven” rewrites before the Nigerian author was ready to release her first novel.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
Open-uri20180628-4-1gbsro8_profile

Black athletes and political minefields

For sports writer Howard Bryant, the current political tension between black athletes protesting police violence and a white president quick to label them unpatriotic for doing so is nothing new. For the past century, black athletes from Paul Robeson and Jackie Robinson to Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James have shared an often difficult duty to represent their race in a culture that values black bodies over black brains.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
Open-uri20180628-4-3k0qwf_profile

Hans Asperger's complex Nazi history

What we now call autism has surely been a part of the human condition for as long as human beings have existed. But the way different cultures understand, talk about and treat people who exhibit the symptoms of autism — difficulty or disinterest in social interactions, repetitive behaviors and language impairments — can vary widely.
Los Angeles Times Link to Story
Open-uri20180604-4-vkq0z7_profile

Cool books for hot days

The Boston Globe's Summer Reading list for 2018. My editor asked me to suggest ten books, including both new and older titles. These are all perfect for reading on the beach, in the park, at the lake, or wherever you find yourself.
Boston Globe Link to Story
Open-uri20180604-4-1jhqk30_profile

A tale of a dying man’s birthday, unapologetic in its Mexican-ness

As a writer, Luis Alberto Urrea is both prolific and versatile, with 16 books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. The son of an American mother and a Mexican father, he grew up part of a sprawling family that encompasses multiple nations and languages — a background that may have contributed to his seemingly effortless flexibility as a storyteller.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
Open-uri20180604-4-12mau90_profile

Nancy Balbirer Finds Wisdom in Having a “Terrible Time”

In her first memoir,Take Your Shirt Off and Cry: A Memoir of Near-Fame Experiences, Nancy Balbirer shared some of the more extraordinary tales of her life as an actor, writer, and downtown New York fixture. Just a year after the book was published in 2009, Balbirer began a year of worry, change, and wrenching pain as she was losing her marriage and her beloved beagle, Ira, who was dying.
DAME Magazine Link to Story
Open-uri20180520-4-1a2x9ir_profile

1962 Orly plane crash inspires novel

Hannah Pittard can’t remember when she first heard about the 1962 plane crash at Orly Field. The disaster, which killed 106 Atlantans on a chartered art tour to France, serves as the starting point for Pittard’s fourth novel, “Visible Empire,” which goes on to trace the grief and loss that rippled through a city just beginning to grapple with its own history.
Atlanta Journal Constitution Link to Story
Open-uri20180430-4-xb7nkr_profile

The Things Meg Wolitzer Knew Before We Did

The Female Persuasion is Meg Wolitzer’s tenth novel, and by any measure it’s big (more than 450 pages) and immersive, spanning decades in the lives of its characters, pondering everything from love and sex to work, politics, and professional disillusionment. At its center is a pair of women and the relationships they have with each other, their families, friends, and lovers.
DAME Magazine 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.