Author Archives: LARB Blog

The China Blog Ash Pick Up Artist photo

How to Be a Male God: Beijing’s Pick Up Artist Scene

| by

By Alec Ash Xia’er, a 22-year-old music graduate from Hunan Province, is short, with a boyish complexion and no steady job. He is an average catch. Cirl, professional Pick Up Artist, has a ripped body, the confidence of a god, wears sparkling jewelry, and does magic. He is a ladykiller. Cirl exists in Xia’er’s mind, […]


LARB Channels larb blog invisible bridge

California and The Invisible Bridge

| by

Today’s post, a review of Rick Perlstein’s The Invisible Bridge, was originally published by LARB Channel Boom. By Thad Kousser When the immigrant refugees were first transported, in huddled mass after huddled mass, into federal facilities spread across the country, local reactions were visceral and virulent. Residents signed petitions to let them know they weren’t welcome, talk […]


The China Blog browsing

Love, or Nearest Offer: A Vignette From Beijing’s Marriage Market

| by

Photo: Mr. Sun browsing the marriage market. By Alec Ash Mr. Sun is 67, with a helmet-shaped mop of silver hair, half his teeth missing, and a generally ragged look to him. He’s an old Beijinger, and lives near the east gate of Tiantan Park, not far from the Forbidden City. Every Sunday, he goes […]


LARB Main Site LARB Blog triptych artist

Syria: Then and Now, Threatened Architecture

| by

Today’s post concerns the current triptych image on our main site, by photographer Peter Aaron. The photo is part of a series, described below.  In 2009, internationally acclaimed architectural photographer Peter Aaron visited Syria and during the course of several weeks recorded much of the country’s incomparable architectural and archaeological heritage. From Hellenistic and Roman ruins […]


Essays larb blog israel

The Silence Within Silence

| by

Photo: Terri Weifenbach By Joanna Chen Yesterday there was a ceasefire. The night before, the booms did not stop. At 3 AM the house shuddered and the walls shook. At 8 AM, as the ceasefire began, silence fell upon the house. I stood at my front door with a second cup of coffee. The cat […]


The China Blog larb blog night heron

Tricks of Two Trades: A Q&A on Writing News Reports and Spy Novels with Night Heron Author Adam Brookes

| by

By Jeffrey Wasserstrom I’ve known Adam Brookes since 1999, when we met in Beijing where he was covering China for the BBC, and I’ve followed his career with interest ever since.  When I learned that Adam, whose latest reporting assignment has been the Pentagon, was trying his hand at a spy novel, I was intrigued. […]


LARB Channels larb blog hoffman

Where I’m Calling From: Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967-2014

| by

Today on the blog we revisit a piece from LARB Channel Avidly on the passing of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, in light of his latest and last starring movie role in A Most Wanted Man. By Philip Maciak Philip Seymour Hoffman was great on the telephone. If you start to think about it, it’s going to be hard […]


Naked Bookseller Sarah Dessen

Notes to a Visiting Author: “Make This Thing Worth Your While!”

| by

Photo: Chapel Hill local and YA author Sarah Dessen at a reading at Flyleaf Books Flyleaf Books is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and hosts hundreds of authors a year.  When we asked marketing coordinator Linnie Green to write a piece for LARB, there was no hesitation on the topic.   “Rumor has it that […]


Reviews larb blog digs cover

To Die and Live in Studio City

| by

By Alex Harvey Back in 1939, Aldous Huxley’s first Californian novel, After Many a Summer Dies The Swan, satirized the local obsession with and search for eternal life. Huxley created a protagonist, Jo Stoyte, a classic Hollywood magnate, who spends his fortune on a quest for personal immortality. Stoyte wants to arrest time; he hires […]


LARB Channels larb blog ernest and celestine

Bastille Day in Beverly Hills: The Revolution, Televised

| by

Photo: Ernest and Celestine, New Video Group, 2014 Today’s post was originally published by LARB Channel Marginalia.  By Ted Scheinman We were both light in the head from a five-mile hike that had verged on a vision quest — too many miles with too little water under a cloudless sky at Calabasas Peak. It therefore took me […]