1946 --- Aldous Huxley --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Reading “Brave New World” in 2015

Our dystopias have gone back to the wilderness.


Echo of the Boom

If Echo of the Boom is representative of the hysterical-realist novel of today, the main quality that differentiates it from its forebears is its treatment of humor.


Endbahnhof: Photographic Portraits of Berlin’s U-Bahn

A talk with Australian born Photographer Kate Seabrook about transit, typography, and the aesthetics of train stations.


A Fresh-Minted Cumbia “Lost Classic” – Los Miticos Del Ritmo

Sometimes things aren’t what they appear, but that’s ok.


Evidence: Ai Weiwei in Berlin

Ai WeiWei’s largest show to date is currently on display in Berlin.


The Moving Walkway: Revisiting a “Pure” Future

Rachel Jones revisits a space influenced by the California art scene of the 60s, 70s and 80s – Chicago O’Hare airport’s underground tunnel.


Shorpy: The Hundred-Year-Old Photo Blog

Shorpy is a photographic archive of American history in all its beauty and ugliness


Vice Mexico Video Roundup

To see Vice at their best, you’ve got to see the coverage of Mexico they’ve been doing recently.

Profane Illumination, Street Surrealism, and Venice, California

Read an excerpt from John O’Kane’s new counterculture history of Venice, California.


In the dark, fairy-tale like “Kid-Thing,” the filmmakers succeed in evoking the ambiguity and absurdity of childhood.


Hecho en Oaxaca

The epic Hecho en Oaxaca exhibit brought work from twelve street artists from around the world to Oaxaca.


Alejandro Santiago’s 2501 Migrantes

Oaxacan artist Alejandro Santiago, known for his massive 2501 Migrants project, passed away in July. Here’s some of his work.


“The Mystery of Flying Kicks” Cracks the Code on Sneaker Tossing

Ever wondered what those shoes dangling from the telephone wires mean?


In ‘Son Of A Gun’ a Bleak But Humane Look At The Modern West

A new memoir documents a young man’s reckoning with his mother’s murder in Tombstone, Arizona.


Tenderloin Poet: William Taylor Jr. [VIDEO]

A poet draws inspiration from the mean streets of the Tenderloin neighborhood he’s lived in for nearly a decade. Creosote Minidoc #1


Percival Everett by Percival Everett

In his most recent book, one of America’s most important novelists experiments again, and this time, loses the thread.


The Suffering Saint of Gospel: Washington Phillips

The mystery that shrouds this man compounds the stunning beauty of his precious, few recorded songs.


Arthur’s Return

Arthur Magazine has returned to carry the banner for the American counterculture, this time as a broadsheet.

Writer and   professor Junot Diaz.

This is How You Lose Her

Junot Diaz’s latest collection of short stories,This is How You Lose Her, continues to mine the author’s experiences as a Dominican immigrant in New Jersey


In “Fruitvale” Oscar Grant Gets Attention at Sundance

The debut by young Bay Area filmmaker Ryan Coogler brings a story of police brutality on BART to the big screen.


Family, Ritual, Dream States: New Oaxacan Photography

The work of two Oaxacan photographers explores creative memory and shamanic practice, at the Centro Fotográfico Manuel Álvarez Bravo.

The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets

Kathleen Alcott’s debut is a lyrical, heartfelt novel about the way people try to hold onto things that are transient by nature.

The Mutant Metropolis

Mexico City. What can you say about 20 million people? Not much in general, but an awful lot in particular.


Not Yet Lost: Golden West and the Craft of Sign Painting

Golden West Signs in Berkeley keeps a vanishing craft alive.


Magic, Terror, and San Francisco

In “Season of the Witch,” founder David Talbot takes us through the turmoil, activism and passion of modern San Francisco’s violent birth in the 60s and 70s.

Guns, Movies, and Mass Murder in Colorado

Last week, a macabre scene blurred cinematic and real violence; this week, we ask ourselves the nature of our sickness.


Outlaw Brass: Tuba Thieves and Trend Hype

The big bass horn now boasts L.A. street cred, and schools are keeping an eye on their band rooms.


Polk Gulch Graffiti

Big letters, the undead, skulls, and street signs: Polk Gulch graffiti.


From the Barbary Coast to the 21st Century

Larry Rothe, author of a new history of the San Francisco Symphony, talks about the City, the orchestra, music, and writing.

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975: A Review

Based on archival footage shot by a Swedish crew, the film offers a more balanced, outsider’s view on the American Black Power movement.


It Hurts to Let You Go: Levi Pata at Kokoro Studio

Levi Pata’s solo debut at Kokoro Studio in San Francisco displays worldly inspiration along with elemental flow.

Time Travel for Introverts

In contrast to much science fiction, in Yu’s book, time isn’t fragile, it’s we who are fragile—time is malleable, self-healing, a river that splits apart and converges.


Blood Connections

Though the characters that Woodrell has created are often strange, violent, even grotesque, they are always recognizably human.

Winter Lit Journals in San Francisco

The winter literary quarterlies are hitting bookshelves in San Francisco—Zyzzyva, 14 Hills, and McSweeney’s.

The Barbarian Nurseries

Héctor Tobar’s new novel takes a sprawling view of Los Angeles, from the gated communities to the back alleys and side streets where the marginalized and the forgotten create their own vibrant community.


The West Coast’s New Cultural Ambassador

Ice Cube has recently turned heads for appearing in a new role: as a cultural ambassador for the West Coast—his hometown of L.A., specifically.

Love and Shame and Love

Peter Orner’s new novel is an album of snapshots, capturing the dreams and disappointments of a middle-class Jewish family in Chicago.


We Felt It: Litquake 2011

Like the 4.2 magnitude earthquake last week that jolted the Bay Area, Litquake 2011 came and went quickly this October, leaving us all with different impressions.


Lyrically Criminal

Ozarks author Daniel Woodrell writes soaring, lyrical crime fiction that recalls Faulkner as much as Chandler. Our conversation with the author of Winter’s Bone and the new story collection, The Outlaw Album.

Litquake: Success at “Failure”

The “Original Shorts: Failure to Commit” Litquake event, at the Lone Palm on Monday, embodied everything that I love about the San Francisco literary scene.


The Scanners Project

The Scanners Project is a temporary bookstore meets art installation, a showcase of the tactile pleasures of physicality of books.

A Memoir of Grief and Indelible Love

In Goldman’s hands, Aura becomes so indelible, so bristling with life, that when he writes of his life without her, our grief for his loss becomes as keening as his own.


Dystopian Rainbows

Tyler Bewley paints landscapes mostly: colorful and whimsical dystopias depicting industrial excess, collapse, and reinvention.

A Salon for Neglected Classics

A new monthly salon at Dog Eared Books, led by SF author Peter Orner, digs deep into the neglected books re-published in the NYRB Classics collection.

Fante & Son

Dan Fante provides a refreshing and much-needed examination of his father, John Fante’s life, and the cloud of dirty glamor that surrounds it.


The Scribe of Burning Man

Steven T. Jones (aka Scribe) takes a deep look into Burning Man’s history and inner workings in his book, The Tribes of Burning Man.

An Atlas the Size of San Francisco

“An atlas is a collection of versions of a place, a compendium of perspectives, a snatching out of the infinite ether of potential versions a few that will be made concrete and visible.”


Automatic Writing

Watz’s work, like other contemporary computer-generated art, can be both harshly geometric and strangely organic. This result comes from working with a language that’s similar, in some ways, to nature itself.

Transgressions and Confessions

Stephen Elliott’s memoir, The Adderall Diaries, captures the mood of the Bay Area’s underbelly as he explores the false confessions of others—and his own compulsions.

Chasing the Sun

In this monumental work chronicling the history of the Great Migration, Isabel Wilkerson’s greatest achievement is presenting three indelible individuals.