Latest Articles


Interview: Cheryl Strayed on the sweet life

Before she was CHERYL STRAYED, she was Cheryl Strayed: an accomplished essayist with a novel, Torch , under her belt and a lot of friends and admirers in the literary community.
The Wild author is still Sugar underneath
By THOMAS PAGE MCBEE  |  March 08, 2013

Phreaking Ma Bell: Phil Lapsley's Exploding the Phone

Exploding the Phone is Phil Lapsley's exhaustive history of the phone-phreak phenomenon of the '60s and '70s.

By LISA WEIDENFELD  |  February 22, 2013

Scary monsters and super freaks

What if deceased presidents were reincarnated as horses in a belated lesson in humility?

By LISA WEIDENFELD  |  February 15, 2013

The Station fire: 10 years after

It's been 10 years since fire tore through a roadhouse in West Warwick — killing 100, injuring 200 more, and singeing thousands of New Englanders whose mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends died inside The Station or never quite figured out h
Four writers on the tragedy that disfigured Rhode Island
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 15, 2013

Yo, Jonny! The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

Sometime after becoming a YouTube megastar and crashing into the cult of personality that has metastasized in contemporary society, Teddy Wayne's 11-year-old bubblegum idol Jonny Valentine is hanging out in his dressing room getting a blow job from a g

By SHARON STEEL  |  February 08, 2013

Trade secrets: Scott Haas's Back of the House: The Secret Life of a Restaurant

Food writer and clinical psychologist Scott Haas's fly-on-the-wall account of Central Square hotspot Craigie on Main, Back of the House: The Secret Life of a Restaurant , drops February 5.

By CASSANDRA LANDRY  |  February 01, 2013


Sweet bad dreams: Yoko Ogawa's latest book

What lingers like a nightmare?

By CLEA SIMON  |  February 01, 2013

Roorbach’s newest book tastes of envy, mystery

Secrets and food and celebrity and bodies. These are the subjects of Maine author Bill Roorbach's new novel, Life Among Giants, a literary mystery with a tinge of soap-opera sudsiness.
Crossing the divide
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  February 01, 2013

Hester Kaplan’s The Tell is captivating

In her first novel in 10 years, The Tell (Harper Perennial), Providence writer and educator Hester Kaplan tackles the familiar territory of marriage and relationships.
Local color
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  January 25, 2013

Life as a commercial: John Kenney's Truth in Advertising

Gwyneth Paltrow, 1984 , and dirty diapers aren't an obvious mix.

By CLEA SIMON  |  January 18, 2013

Lawless Youth: Chanel Bonfire by Wendy Lawless

Adolescence is tough on everyone. But imagine the growing pains that come along with a drunken mother who uses an ax to chop down your sister's bedroom door.

By MEGAN JOHNSON  |  January 18, 2013


28 Cent Book Bin(1)

Discount reads, discounted for a reason.
Big Fat Whale
By BRIAN MCFADDEN  |  January 18, 2013

Bipolar and off the leash of meds: Juliann Garey's Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See

Juliann Garey's debut novel begins with its narrator doing something unforgivable.

By LISA WEIDENFELD  |  January 11, 2013

Mansbach is back

Prior to the meme-tastic success of last year's Go the Fuck to Sleep (Akashic Books), Adam Mansbach had written two acclaimed novels about race and culture.
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  January 11, 2013

Soup's On

Most cookbooks catch you with a really stellar recipe about a third of the way in — something with heft and a rustic photo to go with it, past all the stocks and appetizers.

By CASSANDRA LANDRY  |  January 11, 2013

Brilliant friends: Great reads of 2012

You already know Chis Ware's Building Stories is the achievement of the decade (thanks, New York Times!), but some other people wrote some pretty great books this year too.

By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  December 21, 2012


Even the Jordan River has bodies floatin'

Style aside, the 1960s — the era that spawned sex, drugs, and rock and roll — are still with us.

By PETER KADZIS  |  December 14, 2012

It's in the cards: Karen Engelmann's new book

Historical fiction is a perfect winter indulgence.

By CLEA SIMON  |  December 07, 2012

Bipolar Babies: Leonard Cohen and Rod Stewart in misery and delight

"Every night and every morn," wrote William Blake one afternoon in 1803, "some to misery are born."
By JAMES PARKER  |  December 07, 2012

Give the gift of telling debt it’s busted

While you're out spending your hard-earned dollars on gifts for yourself and others at holiday and year-end sales, remember that money has to come from somewhere.
Break down the shakedown
By JEFF INGLIS  |  December 07, 2012

This winter, discover sex and revolution at Rhode Island's libraries

There is plenty to do outdoors during a New England winter: skiing, skating, snowboarding, ice-yachting. I just don't do any of it.
Hit the stacks
By PHILIP EIL  |  December 07, 2012


Animal Magnetism: Lauren Slater's collection of essays about ''non-human citizens''

Musashi and Lila, the title pooch of Lauren Slater's The $60,000 Dog: My Life with Animals (Beacon Press), have crossed the rainbow bridge.

By CLEA SIMON  |  November 23, 2012

Perelman in print: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook  has arrived just in time for you to tackle some bold new dishes for Thanksgiving.

By LISA WEIDENFELD  |  November 16, 2012

Review: An Ian McEwan trifle

Sweet Tooth — a light, comic novel from Ian McEwan, tells the story of an intelligence agent in MI5 in the '70s.

By LISA WEIDENFELD  |  November 16, 2012

Providence becomes a new crossroads for the thriller

There is a scene in Jon Land's forthcoming thriller novel Strong Rain Falling — set for release next summer — where Caitlin Strong finally arrives in her author's hometown: Providence, Rhode Island.
By PHILIP EIL  |  November 09, 2012

Errol Morris: The truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth

August 29, 1979. Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, a former Army Special Forces Captain, was convicted of the savage murders of his wife and two daughters as they slept in their house within Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

By PETER KADZIS  |  November 09, 2012


Review: Dylan Jones's 'Biographical Dictionary of Popular Music'

In the modern world of Wiki and the Interweb, if you're going to produce an actual print-edition dictionary of pop music, you'd better frontload it with attitude.

By JON GARELICK  |  November 09, 2012

Facial recognition software and other badass privacy intrusions

Action Speaks, the panel discussion series at Providence art space AS220, continues its fall season — "Private Rights and Public Fights" — on October 31 with a look at our surveillance society. The event, free and open to the public, begins at 5:30 pm.
Action Speaks
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  October 26, 2012

Interview: Gina Gershon finds her pussy

Even before her traumatically hilarious performance in the trailer-park comedy of horrors Killer Joe , Gina Gershon has been an actor who fiercely commits.

By ROB TURBOVSKY  |  October 12, 2012

Talking to Sherman Alexie

The people who made Spokane Indian writer Sherman Alexie's semi-autobiographical The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian the second-most censored book of 2010 didn't realize they were doing him a favor, he told us.

By DEBRA CASH  |  October 12, 2012