No Luke Cage Thinkpieces: A Links Round-Up

Look, I know. I know. You want to read the hot takes on Luke Cage. I understand that’s where you’re at. I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. But I have only watched four episodes of the series, and thus I haven’t read that much criticism of it yet.1 You will have to wait for the next one for that sweet Luke Cage talk. Here’s what you can have:

A complete history of Addy Walker, who I honestly still can’t deal with the fact that they retired her books and her doll. Hmph.

Why clothes for women don’t have any goddamn pockets.

The VOYA thing began during my last links round-up period, yet somehow continued through to the period of this links round-up. I don’t understand it either. Here’s all the receipts. VOYA’s latest and best apology, although it says a lot of good things, does not come with unblocking the YA authors they’ve blocked, or like contacting Tristina Wright or the author specifically to say what happens next, or like twelve million other things. So uh, take it with a pillar of salt.

If you’ve heard about Ian McEwan’s Fetus Hamlet book but do not want to read it, can I recommend this epic live-tweet of it instead? Jeanne also reviewed it and she did NOT like it.

I already thought Lionel Shriver was a dick BEFORE learning that her latest book featured a black woman kept on a leash by a white family, but now I want to kick her in the shins forever. Pulitzer winner Viet Thanh Nguyen talks about how to navigate the “cultural appropriation” wars.

Girls in houses: Laura Miller on Shirley Jackson.

This review of a Hitler biography is incredible. Honestly. Read this. I don’t want to say it elevates the art of criticism, but like, maybe.

Vinson Cunningham argues that The Birth of a Nation isn’t worth your time. Y’all, the journey of public discourse around this film should be its own damn biopic, seriously.2

Ann Friedman on Kim Kardashian’s recent trauma, the outing of Elena Ferrante, and the place of women in the public eye.

Daniel Jose Older on how (and if and why) to write characters from backgrounds that are not yours.

Angelica Jade Bastién wrote for the New Republic about the price of being a vocal woman of color in the worlds of geek fandom.

Have a good weekend!

  1. Not for spoiler reasons, it’s just kind of boring to read tons and tons of words about a piece of media you haven’t consumed.
  2. Not seriously.
  • Good links! And yes yes yes re pockets!

  • Jeanne

    I’m pretty sure Shriver was attempting some kind of satire, but she has irritated me enough with her bad attempts at it, and you’ve been right enough lately (fetus Hamlet, “ugh” as the tweet says) that I’m going to let your leashing of her topic to the article about cultural appropriation just go right by.

    • I didn’t leash her topic to the topic of cultural appropriation, she did! That speech she did at the Brisbane Book Festival — I should have made this context clearer, that’s my bad — was all about cultural appropriation and how much she dislikes it as a concept.

      • Jeanne

        OMG. You are totally right. I liked a lot of The Mandibles and didn’t even recognize until now that the character on a leash was from that novel (it was a very small part and the character is so irritating I remember wondering why no one had killed her off yet). And yet in every novel of hers, there’s more and more problematic author pov coming through.

      • Katy

        I actually agree with some of the points she was trying to make about the dangers of policing cultural appropriation when it comes to novels, but that speech was so deeply unpleasant and her way of describing that character and her place in the novel was so racist, it completely undermined any validity her argument would otherwise have had.

  • Kailana

    I haven’t had a chance to see any of Luke Cage yet. Hopefully this weekend!

  • Stefanie@SoManyBooks

    I’ve watched two episodes of Luke Cage. Did you know has a Luke Cage reading list of all the books he reads and authors he mentions throughout the whole season?

    Pockets! I love pockets which is why I prefer to wear men’s pants and cuz I refuse to carry a stupid purse so I can have my hands free.

    The review of the Hitler bio gave me chills. So much like a certain someone running for president.

  • CoolCurry

    The pocket article was really great.

    I’ve seen some of the VOYA controversy but I don’t have the mental wavelength to deal with it at the moment.

  • Kim Aippersbach

    Thanks for the Daniel José Older and Viet Thanh Nguyen links. Great articles, both. “Understand you suck. Then try to suck less and move forward.” Great advice in this context, and, really, just great life advice!

  • Read Diverse Books

    I still haven’t started Luke Cage! D: I hope to watch a few episodes this weekend, though.
    But I’m off to read the Daniel Jose Older piece. Thank yo!!!

  • helen (a gallimaufry)

    My six-year-old daughter has an impassioned rant about the lack of pockets in girls’ clothes, which she unleashes at the drop of a hat (or a piece of clothing without pockets). It pleases me immensely to hear her lecturing the unwary on this matter.

    Just read an article in the Guardian claiming that those who disliked the unmasking of Elena Ferrante were ‘prissy’ and we like knowing stuff about writers and nobody should expect any privacy these days. Way to miss the point.

    Am very interested in the cultural appropriation discussion and am going to read Viet Thanh Nguyen right now. Thank you!

  • Christy

    Older’s piece is great – thanks for linking to it. Not that I had interest in the McEwan book, but now that I’ve read the live-tweet, I feel like that is all the experience I need of it.
    Also, I’m getting a weird redirect when I click on the link to the Ann Friedman piece. Don’t know if anyone else had that experience.

  • Heather

    I read the review about the Hitler book too and I agree – it’s incredible.

    I want to know what this Fetus Hamlet thing is, but also it sounds awful so I think I’m just going to push it to the back of my mind.

  • Citizen Reader

    Oh my…the pockets article is a classic. thanks for the link. Lately I find clothes that look like they have pockets, and then they are purely decorative and sewn shut. There’s a metaphor there too for the female condition on the whole, not just Hillary’s candidacy.