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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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Let's Bring Back “The Day After”

When ABC broadcast The Day After, in the fall of 1983, it was, as they used to say in the days before widespread cable and the internet, a major television event. It had particular resonance for me, not just as a Gen-X’er who lived amid the fear, but it was actually set in and around my hometown, Lawrence, Kansas, and much of it was filmed there.
DAME Magazine 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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Raised by white parents, a Korean adoptee wrestles with identity

Growing up with her adoptive white parents in a very white town in southern Oregon, Nicole Chung “kept a secret running tally of every single Asian person I had ever seen in public.” There were so few, and her isolation so internalized, that even as a bookish little girl the stories she wrote didn’t include Asian characters.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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Making sense of American poverty and her own life

“America didn’t talk about class when I was growing up,” writes Sarah Smarsh. Born to a teenage mother in the summer of 1980, she was a poor child in Kansas, a state that went big that fall for Reagan’s gauzy vision of morning in America, even as the farm economy that had once supported its people began to crumble.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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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
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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
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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
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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

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.