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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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Skiffle strikes a chord with author Billy Bragg

Best known as a musician with a notably political bent, Billy Bragg is also a talented writer. In 2007 he published “The Progressive Patriot: A Search for Belonging,” in 2016 “A Lover Sings: Selected Lyrics,’’ and now comes “Roots, Radicals, and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World,” a deeply researched yet lively look at the musical craze that hit England in the mid-1950s.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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Sherman Alexie on his new memoir, his mother and Donald Trump

Sherman Alexie keeps running into his mother on book tour, catching glimpses of the woman at the center of his new memoir, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.”. He sees her in the quilt decorating his hotel in Boston, a vivid reminder of her artistry and industry. And then there are the sirens that keep going off when Alexie’s giving a reading, just at the moments the author finds himself getting emotional.
Los Angeles Times Link to Story
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The deep roots of “white trash” in America: “Not only are we not a post-racial society, we are certainly not a post-class society”

Salon talks to Nancy Isenberg about America's history of race, class, eugenics and the myth of social mobility. Nancy Isenberg’s book “White Trash” begins by looking at the characters in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”. Both the book and the movie play with the divide between Atticus Finch, who is saintly and proper, and the poor white family, the Ewells, whose daughter’s false rape accusation is at the story’s center, as an example that there are two kinds of white people in the South.
Salon.com Link to Story
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Story Behind the Book: ZZ Packer on Race, History, and Girl Scouts

“It’s difficult, sometimes, to describe the process of writing a story,” said ZZ Packer. “Stuff comes to you as you’re writing, you’re kind of carried away on a tide of what you’re fascinated by.”. Packer’s short story “Brownies,” first published in Harper’s Magazine, then included in her debut collection, “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” (2003), is the first selection of a pilot program in which the entire graduate writing community at Lesley University will read and discuss the same story.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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Roberto Gonzales on ‘Lives in Limbo’

Before attending graduate school to train as a sociologist, Roberto Gonzales worked for a decade as a youth organizer in a largely immigrant neighborhood in Chicago. “Living and working in that community, I got to know kids and families really well,” Gonzales said. He began to notice that some kids, once they hit 15 or 16, “when their friends started getting driver’s licenses, first jobs, thinking about college — this is a time when many of them had really uncomfortable conversations with their parents.
The Boston Globe Link to Story
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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).
DAME Magazine Link to Story
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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.
DAME Magazine Link to Story
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Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Racists

The public demonstrations and protests following grand jury non-indictments of the men who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner have led the news the past few weeks. Thousands of protestors, of all ethnicities, have marched, staged theatrical die-ins, blocked roads and bridges and shopping malls.
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, Washington Post, Salon, Atlantic.com, and elsewhere. Native Kansan, longtime Cantabrigian, falling in love with Decatur, Georgia.

Feel free to email me at kate.tuttle@gmail.com.