• cultural studies

Imaginary Eating with Ann VanderMeer and "Evil Monkey"

In the world of cutting-edge speculative fiction, Ann VanderMeer (the award-winning fiction editor of Weird Tales) and her husband Jeff (the author of the bestselling City of Saints and Madmen and Finch, among others) loom large as an editor/writer power duo. In their new book The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals, Ann and Jeff (under the nom de nonsense "Evil Monkey") tackle questions which have plagued the unhealthily curious for ages: can you serve a phoenix to your rabbi? What about a manticore? What about...E.T.?

With the feeling that there were a few questions left unanswered by their book, we reached out to Ann and Jeff (in his Evil Monkey guise), for further illumination.

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April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.