Returning to Salman Rushdie’s Haroun


The Review’s Review

Justine Kurland, Georgia O’Keeffe, 2020. Courtesy of Higher Pictures Generation.

After hearing the horrifying news about the attack on Salman Rushdie earlier today, I turned to the first book of his I’d read—or rather, the book he read, on audiocassette, to my family on long car journeys.

“Just do one thing for me,” Haroun called to his father. “Just this one thing. Think of the happiest times you can remember. Think of the view of the Valley of Κ we saw when we came through the Tunnel of I. Think about your wedding day. Please.”

—Emily Stokes, editor

In her new book, SCUMB Manifesto, the photographer Justine Kurland takes scissors to her personal collection of 150 photo books. Paying homage to feminist collages and Valerie Solanas’s SCUM (Society for Cutting up Men) Manifesto, she dismembers and reconfigures photographs by the straight white men who have dominated the photography industry for decades. The result is a radical remaking of classic works that often exposes male photographers’ continuous fetishization of women’s bodies—Alfred Stieglitz’s obsession with Georgia O’Keeffe’s hands, or Lee Friedlander’s fixation on nudes. Against colorful backdrops, the disembodied hands and legs are striking and strange, compelling in their own right.

—Clarissa Fragoso Pinheiro, intern

Last week, I fell into a deep trance reading Mieko Kawakami’s newest novel, All The Lovers in the Night, translated from the Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd. The novel follows a copy editor plagued by anxieties, who drinks copious amounts of booze to cope. Kawakami creates masterful portraits of figures who isolate themselves from others in order to avoid rejection or uncomfortable conversations. These characters live in their minds but notice everything around them, in sensuous, strange, detailed prose.

—Campbell Campbell, intern
Read two short stories by Mieko Kawakami, translated by David Boyd, here on the Daily.

I am reading Middlemarch for the first time, an experience which I had for some reason assumed would be a difficult slog but has in fact been one of the most pleasant aspects of my summer; no one told me it was a book about the consequences of having crushes. Over Fourth of July weekend, I left my copy outside and a surprise thunderstorm left its pages bloated and warped. I got another, which I lugged around on the subway in my messy tote bag, slowly ruining that one, too. Then, someone gave me miraculous thing: a set of little Middlemarches, or Liddlemarches—the novel divided into slim paperbacks book by book. Now I carry my little Middlemarches everywhere and show them off to anyone who will listen.

—Sophie Haigney, web editor