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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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Is the Solidarity of Sisterhood a Myth?

Today’s cultural conversation around gender and power, turbocharged ever since allegations of sexual assault and harassment took down Harvey Weinstein, has been a long time coming. The #MeToo movement, pioneered by Tarana Burke, grew into a juggernaut on social media, a communal reckoning that both demanded men be held accountable for their actions, and invited women to share their stories of being sexually harassed and assaulted.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Would Raven-Symoné Have a Beef With "Apple"?

“I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea,” said former child star Raven-Symoné on daytime TV’s The View earlier this month. “It’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to hire you.”. The women of The View were discussing a video of the “60 most ghetto names” that was making the social media rounds as such things do (me, I probably was watching these baby goats cavorting in pajamas and missed the thing entirely, which I’d rather link to than the stupid “ghetto name” video).
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Mom, Did You Ever Smoke Weed?

It could be anything, the question that stops you in your parental tracks. A 5-year-old, his sweet voice filled with the kind of moral certainty that comes easy to a kindergartener, points out that smoking cigarettes is so bad and wrong: “Why would anyone ever smoke, Mommy?”. Or your 10-year-old, noticing for the first time that you don’t seem happy to go on the annual holiday pilgrimage to see your parents: “Why do you hate Grandpa?”.
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New Baby? There's An App for That

When Ana’s first child was born, he was “a lazy eater and a lousy sleeper,” his mother says. The hospital had given her a sheet on which to log all of his feedings, sleeping, and wet and poopy diapers. But that quickly seemed inadequate. “I thought, this is ridiculous,” says Ana, a mother of two in Florida, “I’m never going to remember any of this and I’m going to lose this piece of paper.
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Let’s Set “Maiden” Name Out to Sea—Forever

Last weekend the New York Times published an article about women and marriage and names—a perennially complicated topic that touches on matters of family, identity, feminism, and choice. The piece, by Claire Cain Miller and Derek Willis (more on their names in a minute), states that more women are opting not to take on their husbands’ surnames upon marriage, instead keeping their original names—about 20 percent, they report.
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Our Obsession With Safety Is Harming Our Kids

Last week our family took its annual soul-crushing road trip: a cool 1,000 miles each way from Atlanta to the eastern end of Long Island. Along the way, my 8-year-old son got to experience a series of wonderful adventures: his first-ever visit to a Stuckey’s, corny staple of my own childhood road trips (they still sell Miner’s Gold gum!)
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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.