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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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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.
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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.
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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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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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We All Need to Talk About What Happened in McKinney, Texas

Imagine your child. Imagine your child pinned to the ground by a police officer, his knees on her naked back, pushing her down, as he yells obscenities at your child and her friends. Imagine she’s crying to her friends, “Call my mama! Call my mama!”. “He grabbed me, twisted my arm on my back and shoved me in the grass and started pulling the back of my braids,” Dajerria Becton told local media.
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I'm Happy to Be An Atheist Parent

My son M, 8 years old, is growing up in Atlanta. This is a fine thing: Atlanta has wonderful food, glorious natural beauty, and some of the most genuinely friendly people you will ever meet. It’s also the Bible Belt, and even though we live in a relatively progressive community here, the entire atmosphere is much, much more religious—especially Christian—than where I raised M’s sister A, now 21, who grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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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.