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White Girls
by Hilton Als


Overview - "White Girls," Hilton Als s first book since "The Women" fourteen years ago, finds one of "The New Yorker's" boldest cultural critics deftly weaving together his brilliant analyses of literature, art, and music with fearless insights on race, gender, and history.  Read more...

 
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More About White Girls by Hilton Als
 
 
 
Overview
"White Girls," Hilton Als s first book since "The Women" fourteen years ago, finds one of "The New Yorker's" boldest cultural critics deftly weaving together his brilliant analyses of literature, art, and music with fearless insights on race, gender, and history. The result is an extraordinary, complex portrait of white girls, as Als dubs theman expansive but precise category that encompasses figures as diverse as Truman Capote and Louise Brooks, Malcolm X and Flannery O Connor. In pieces that hairpin between critique and meditation, fiction and nonfiction, high culture and low, the theoretical and the deeply personal, Als presents a stunning portrait of a writer by way of his subjects, and an invaluable guide to the culture of our time.
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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781936365814
  • ISBN-10: 1936365812
  • Publisher: McSweeney's
  • Publish Date: November 2013
  • Page Count: 300
  • Dimensions: 8.83 x 6.29 x 1.15 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.54 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Literary Collections > Essays

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-07-29
  • Reviewer: Staff

New Yorker critic Als (The Women) delivers his first book in 15 years—a mesmerizing and varied collection of essays, some previously published. His eponymous “white girls” include Louise Brooks, Flannery O’Connor, Truman Capote, Richard Pryor, Malcolm X, Michael Jackson, Eminem, and others. Using his subjects as a springboard to analyze literature, photography, films, music, television, performance, race, gender, sexual orientation, and history, Als offers wry insights throughout. For example, he notes how O’Connor’s readers often overlooked “the originality and honesty of her portrayal... of Southern whiteness as it chafed under its biggest cultural influence—Southern blackness.” In his opening essay, “Tristes Tropiques,” Als revels in his relationship (“twinship”) with the unnamed SL (“Sir or Lady”), noting that the relationship defies categorization in an America that “is nothing if not about categories”: “There was no context... to understand us... two colored men who were together, not lovers, not bums, not mad.” Highly attuned to popular culture, Als is a writer of many moods—meditative, sardonic, haunting, funny, reflective, and unconventional. Whether agonizing over photos of black lynchings (and realizing that the true meaning of the N-word is a “slow death”), or constructing a critique of Virginia Woolf in the voice of Richard Pryor’s sister, he proves to be a compassionate writer looking for unity—even if it can’t always be found. Agent: Jeffrey Posternak, Wylie Agency. (Nov.)

 
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