Book Review: The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead (New York: Doubleday, 2016. 320 pp) Colson Whitehead was born in 1969 and raised in Manhattan. He attended Harvard College and afterward he began working as a reviewer for The Village Voice. Out of the gate, Whitehead’s fiction gained acclaim when his first novel, The Intuitionist, won the Quality Paperback Book Club’s New Voices Award. His work has earned him the Young Lions Fiction Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the PEN/Oakland Award, and a Whiting Writers Award. Also, Whitehead has received a MacArthur Fellowship and a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. Victors Write History History: Written by the Victors. We discuss such a phrase most often around our… Read More →

Television Show Review: Fargo: Season 2

Fargo Season 2

Fargo: Season 2 created by Noah Hawley (MGM Productions, FX Productions) Starring Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Jesse Plemons, Jean Smart, Ted Danson, Jeffrey Donovan, Rachel Keller, Nick Offerman, Brad Garrett, Kieran Culkin, Bokeem Woodbine, Angus Sampson, Cristin Milioti, and Zahn McClarnon. Layers and Layers The best stories blend a gripping narrative with intriguing themes that ride underneath the surface. While the plot piques your interest and encourages you to tune in next week, the themes in the undercurrent provide a rich tapestry of human experience. I recently read an article on Kendrick Lamar that explores this very concept. In his tune, “King Kunta,” Lamar frequently references a yam. On the surface, the yam flows with the rest of the lyrics… Read More →

Book Review: The Rise & Fall of Great Powers

The Rise & Fall of Great Powers

The Rise & Fall of Great Powers: A Novel by Tom Rachman (New York: Dial Press, 2014. 400 pp) Tom Rachman was born in London in 1974 and raised in Vancouver. He attended the University of Toronto and Columbia Journalism School, then worked as a journalist for the Associated Press in New York and Rome for the International Herald Tribune in Paris. His first novel, The Imperfectionists, was an international bestseller, translated into twenty-five languages. He lives in London. Onions Have Layers Life is like layers of sediment in a canyon. Each layer is completely different. Its materials are unique to the era, weathering storms and earning a history. Stacked together, these layers make the geological formation we call a… Read More →

Album Review: Days Are Gone

Days Are Gone by Haim

Days Are Gone by Haim (Columbia, 2013. 44 minutes) Haim is a band from Los Angeles, California comprised of sisters, Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim. A Trend Is But a Repeat of the Past With music, it seems as if we’re repeating ourselves every 20 years. The 90s mirrored the 70s. The aughts mirrored the 80s. Now it sounds like we’re giving a run at the 90s. When I was heavily involved in music during high school and college, I had a tendency toward demonizing these repetitions. I would mock popular music and be the first to point out how a musician sourced influences from the past. If I had to look at it introspectively, I would say my views… Read More →