Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

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Best of Emdashes: Hit Parade
A Web Comic: The Wavy Rule

The energizingly clear-eyed James Wolcott writes:
Try not to miss the William Steig exhibition “From The New Yorker to Shrek” at the Jewish Museum before it vacates the premises on March 16. Not only are the drawings marvels of rumpled, urban-folk buoyancy and dyspepsia (Bernard Malamud stories reduced to a squiggly essence), but how many shows feature letters from Henry Miller, William Shawn, and Wilhelm Reich?
He also gives high praise (and with Wolcott, that means something) to The Comic Worlds of Peter Arno, William Steig, Charles Addams, and Saul Steinberg, by Iain Topliss, which he calls “superlative.” I reviewed the book for Newsday and recommend it often; it provides further benefits in that every day, some jughead googles “topliss ladies,” only to arrive right here on my site. Bonjour, seekers of toplissness! I hope you like highbrow/abstruse humor; va-va-voom.

(If you haven’t read Wolcott’s novel, The Catsitters, I can assure you you’ll enjoy it. If you’re reading this site, if you have any interest in city life and sex and drama and the mysteries of human contact, you’re bound to lap it up. As Amazon likes to say, Look Inside.)

Also, these April readings at New York’s McNally Robinson bookstore look particularly enticing to me:

Wednesday, April 2, 7:00 PM
Meg Wolitzer, author of The Ten-Year Nap (Riverhead)
Meg Wolitzer laid bare the gender politics of the pre-feminist era in The Wife and wittily plumbed the aftermath of the sexual revolution in The Position. Now one of our funniest and most perceptive social observers turns her own forty-something generation in The Ten-Year Nap as she examines what happens when educated women “opt out” of the work force for a few years in order to be full-time mothers, and then somehow don’t find their way back. Join us for a reading and discussion with the author.

Thursday, April 3, 7:00 PM
Contemporary Russian Poetry: An Anthology (Dalkey Archive Press)
With authors Evgeny Bunimovich, Elena Fanailova, and Yuli Gugolev
And contributing translators John High, Margarita Shalina, and Matvei Yankelevich

Please note: This event requires an RSVP. To celebrate the release of the comprehensive anthology Contemporary Russian Poetry, three Russian poets visit New York courtesy of Dalkey Archive Press, CEC ArtsLink and the National Endowment for the Arts. Join us for a special bilingual event as visiting poets Bunimovich, Fanailova, and Gugolev read from their own work and selections from the anthology, with English translations presented by contributing translators High, Shalina, and Yankelevich. The reading will be followed by a Q&A and a reception with the poets and translators. Please RSVP by Tuesday April 1st to chartblay@cecartslink.org.

Saturday, April 5, 1:00 PM
George Packer, author of Betrayed (Faber & Faber) and Assassin’s Gate (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
In early 2007, writer George Packer published an article in The New Yorker about Iraqi interpreters who jeopardized their lives on behalf of the American invasion, with little or no U.S. protection. Betrayed is a new play at Culture Project based on Packer’s interviews with interpreters in Iraq and around the Middle East. This afternoon at McNally Robinson, Packer will talk about his reporting experience, his comprehensive indictment of the Iraq War in his book The Assassin’s Gate, and the experience of creating a play from real experiences. Attendees will then be invited to attend the matinee showing of Betrayed at Culture Project at 3:00 (discounted tickets may be available). Join us for an exclusive conversation co-hosted by Culture Project.

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