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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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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
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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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Boy Scouts Are From Mars, Girl Scouts Are From Venus

In light of the news today that the Boy Scouts will be allowing girls to join (a move I can only read as cynical), I'm revisiting this piece I wrote five years ago about how different the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts are. Behind the khaki uniforms and the merit badges, the two organizations have vastly different political leanings. When the Indiana House of Representatives took up a resolution to honor the Girl Scouts' 100th anniversary, freshman Republican representative Bob Morris refused to sign. While Morris's wrath seemed extreme even to his Indiana House colleagues (at least one of whom took to selling and distributing Thin Mints on the House floor), his anti-Girl Scout feelings are hardly unique.
The Atlantic Link to Story
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Trump's Boy Scout Dishonor Is Worse Than You Think

In a disjointed, rambling, semi-coherent speech before the Boy Scout National Jamboree in West Virginia yesterday, Donald Trump once again proved himself to be incapable of following the minimum standards of acceptable behavior. in which he rehashed his electoral victory, bragged about the size of his inauguration crowds, trashed both President Obama and Hillary Clinton, and talked about a party attended by “the hottest people in New York”—with those given by other presidents is illustrative.
DAME Magazine Link to Story
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How Do We Let Our Kids Be Kids in an Age of Terror?

The bombing at Ariana Grande's concert in Manchester was an act of terrorism on youth—specifically a deadly assault on girls and girl culture, and we cannot ignore the misogynist message.
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.