Author Archives: LARB Blog

Essays larb blog patrick mclaw

Letter to the Dorchester County Board of Education, Regarding Patrick McLaw

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Photo: Patrick McLaw Editor’s Note: Patrick McLaw, a language arts teacher at Mace’s Lane Middle School in Maryland, was recently placed on administrative leave from teaching after it was discovered that he had published two novels. One of the novels, “The Insurrectionist”, is about two school shootings and takes place far into the future. McLaw […]


LARB Channels Ice Bucket Challenge

On the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Ferguson

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Today’s post was originally published last week by LARB Channel Avidly.  By M.J. Dinius Last night on Facebook, my friend explicitly linked the two stories dominating my social media feed: The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the events in Ferguson, Missouri.  My friend asked,  “How many buckets of ice would I have to pour over my […]


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Editing William T. Vollmann

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Photo: William T. Vollmann By LARB AV Author Tom Bissell is a longtime admirer and friend to William T. Vollmann. On the eve of Vollmann’s reading at Skylight Books earlier this month, Bissell, who’d just published a profile of Vollmann in The New Republic, dropped by and gave us a quick anecdote about the connection between the two authors. Bissell, an insanely talented […]


The China Blog larb blog the dog

Finding One’s Own Way Through the Woods: A Q & A with Short Story Writer Jack Livings

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By Jeffrey Wasserstrom One of the best works of fiction I’ve read in recent months is The Dog: Stories by Jack Livings, who taught English in China in the 1990s and sets all of the short stories in his collection in that country. The book’s longest story, “Crystal Sarcophagus,” is set in the immediate wake […]


Reviews larb blog adultery

All You Need is Love: Paulo Coelho’s New Novel, Adultery

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By Joseph Peschel Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho is one of the most popular writers in the world. His best known novel is The Alchemist published in 1988. Since then, Coelho seems to have churned out a book every year or so. His books have been translated into 80 languages and have sold more than 165 […]


The China Blog Ash Pick Up Artist photo

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]