Ron Slate's blog

on Invisible Man: Ralph Ellison and Gordon Parks in Harlem, edited by Michal Raz-Russo (Steidl/Art Institute of Chicago)

In 1947, Ralph Ellison had been working on his novel Invisible Man for two years when he was approached by an editor at The Magazine of the Year to write a feature on the new Lafargue Psychiatric Clinic in Harlem. Lafargue offered psychiatric services to blacks and whites, the only institution in New York to do so.

on Conversations in Jazz and Music in the Air: Selected Writings of Ralph J. Gleason, ed. by Toby Gleason (Yale)

John Coltrane told Ralph Gleason that at live gigs his quartet always played “My Favorite Things” for fourteen minutes and his solo repeated a general pattern.

on The Young Bride, a novel by Alessandro Baricco, trans. by Ann Goldstein (Europa Editions)

Alessandro Baricco’s thirteenth novel, The Young Bride, is spoken by the title character, now 53 and experiencing a “sudden disintegration” and “an uncontrolled collapse of my personal life.” But this is no illness narrative. Baricco (b.

on New Non-Fiction: Russia’s Criminalization, Female Delinquents at Samarkand Manor & a Diary of the Nazi Occupation of France

The Less You Know, The Better You Sleep: Russia’s Road to Terror and Dictatorship Under Yeltsin and Putin by David Satter (Yale)
Bad Girls at Samarcand: Sexuality and Sterilization in a Southern Juvenile Reformatory by Karin L. Zipf (Louisiana State University Press)

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