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Popular Fictions

Done to Death

Lizzie has a clear message for us: we ought to care more about Lizzie Borden, whether or not we think she murdered her parents....

Animal Attraction: The Ridiculous Realism of Bachelor in Paradise

“This is drama,” laments Bachelor In Paradise contestant Clare Crawley as she leans over the balcony of one of the thatched villas at...

Don’t Walk Away from Me: A Ballad for Whitney Houston

In Honolulu — the underdog karaoke champion of the world — there is no hour that someone on the island is not honoring the Queen of Soul, Aretha...

A Chair for My (Single) Mother

When I have been very good, my four-year-old son will sometimes suggest that we add one of my childhood books to the bedtime pile....

Surviving Summer TV

“Heroes die,” Jessica Jones says in season two of the eponymous Marvel show. Super-powered but not a superhero, Jessica brushes off the responsibilities of...

Half and Half Again

In the fifth-century BC, in southern Italy, there lived a philosopher called Parmenides, who believed that ontological pluralism—the belief that our existence is made...