To share every quote from “They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us” that is enticingly beautiful or haunting would be to write no review at all, but rather to print an abridged serving of words from Hanif Abdurraqib’s first collection of essays. The spoken word poet’s pieces are deep, uncensored analyses of topics ranging from music to death, from culture to sports, saturated with the weight of his memories and experiences.
The memoir examines themes of gender, race, and sexual assault in a way so accessible and raw that it challenges us to see each of the three not as distant concepts, but as tangible realities. Each story, each memory, reaches out and touches us. “Mean” is, more than anything, a memoir of touch.
Taylor Swift’s sixth studio album, “Reputation,” comes out Nov. 10. To hold you over, we’re taking a look back at her previous albums—and deciding once and for all which album is truly the best of the best.
The everyday gets a makeover in “Fresh Complaint,” but not the kind it expected. In his new collection of short stories, Jeffrey Eugenides, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Middlesex” and “The Virgin Suicides,” takes the banal, routine lives of a cast of restless, deeply flawed characters and throws them completely out of equilibrium.
A testament to Baker’s keen sense of the intricacies of the everyday, “The Aliens” is a reflection on the meaning of friendship, the fine line between loser and genius, and the creation of art for the sake of creating anything at all.