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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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Q&A: America is failing us, but we still can save the day

Author Jared Yates Sexton fears the worst about the nation’s political upheaval, yet he won’t give in to ‘dread and demoralization.’. Jared Yates Sexton is a professor of creative writing at Georgia Southern University who had three short story collections under his belt when he started writing seriously about politics — especially the Trump rallies he attended during the 2016 campaign.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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Author Craig Fehrman stacks up books penned by presidents

Craig Fehrman’s “Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote” starts with the very beginning of the country. The result of a decade’s worth of digging in libraries and archives, the book surveys two centuries of presidential authorship. “What I immediately realized was that this story was so much older than you could have expected,” Fehrman said.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy

In (Atlantic Monthly, Jan. 7), David Zucchino recounts one of the nation’s ugliest episodes, in which heavily armed whites in Wilmington, North Carolina, stole a congressional election and terrorized the city’s black population. They killed at least 60 people (“nobody ever came up with a solid number,” Zucchino says) and effectively destroyed a once-thriving black community.
Kirkus Link to Story
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Review: ‘No Visible Bruises’ is both reportage and manifesto about domestic violence

Michelle and Rocky got together young, and quickly. By the time Michelle was just 17, the couple had two young children, but she still graduated from high school on time. Her family saw her as strong, smart, and proud. But they saw her less and less, as Rocky increasingly controlled her with violence and threats of violence.
Los Angeles 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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What Happened When My 12-Year-Old Black Son Sat Next To A Trump Supporter On A Plane

The days on either end of Thanksgiving are the nation’s busiest when it comes to travel. When my husband and I decided to spend the holiday with my family in Kansas, we knew that the flights from New York would be packed, that the airport security lines would be long, that everything would be slower and more frustrating because of the volume of fellow travelers.
The Huffington Post 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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Talking with Rebecca Traister about Angry Women

As a journalist, Rebecca Traister is always hoping her books are timely. Her first, “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” came out in 2010, soon after the bruising 2008 Democratic primary season she chronicled in its pages. Her second, “All the Single Ladies,” arrived in 2016, a celebration of women’s power at a time the country seemed poised to elect its first female president.
Los Angeles Times 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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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
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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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The women who wielded a pen like a weapon: Michelle Dean's 'Sharp'

In the 1987 movie "Broadcast News," a male colleague, angry at having to admit that Holly Hunter's character, a television producer, is right about something, shoots this line at her: "It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you're the smartest person in the room." Hunter responds, huskily and urgently, a tear forming in her eye, "No, it's awful."
Los Angeles Times Link to Story

About

Kate Tuttle

I'm on the executive board 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.