Not long ago, Random House sent a number of free books to the Nassau Weekly in the hopes that we would exercise our considerable influence on campus to publicize and review their products. One volume in particular (a bright pink thing called Anatomy of a Single Girl) caught my eye. It wasn’t just the garish cover or the titillating title, it was—actually, no, it was mostly those things.
This summer, I went to prison. Well, not actually, but I did watch Netflix’s original series “Orange is the New Black,” and therefore feel as though I am something of an authority on the subject of federal penitentiary. Piper Chapman, the show’s WASPy, neurotic protagonist, has led me on a tour of prison life, providing a kind of personal “scared straight” program.
“Has a dude ever peed in your vag?” This is the provocative question posed at the beginning of Eight Feet. In this engaging drama-comedy written by Rafi Abrahams ’13 and directed by Rachel Alter ’14, four college students trapped in a basement bedroom during a snowstorm find themselves reconciling this urine-related trauma.
When the Antlers released Hospice in 2009 on Frenchkiss Records, the band established itself as a project of personal catharsis for its frontman, Peter Silberman. Designated a concept album, Hospice channeled Silberman’s past romantic failures into a story of two individuals confined to a cancer ward: a hospice worker and the terminally ill patient he gradually falls in love with.
Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano’s most famous novel, Dora Bruder, is something like a ghost story, though not in the traditional sense. It is a ghostly story about a young man and a nation haunted by history. Modiano received the Nobel Prize in literature in 2014, the fifteenth French writer to do so after the 2008 laureate Jean- Marie Georges Le Clézio. While Le Clézio’s writing is sensual and tinted with exoticism, Modiano’s is sparse, introspective, and heav- ily autobiographical, sometimes even termed “autofiction.”