Books

Post image for Rats Build Their Labyrinth: Oulipo in the 21st Century

The Oulipo, short for the Ouvroir de littérature potentielle [Workshop for potential literature], was founded in Paris in 1960 by two polymaths: Raymond Queneau, a former surrealist known for writing Zazie in the Metro, and François Le Lionnais, a mathematician and engineer.

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Post image for Portraits of Afghani Women Imprisoned for “Moral” Crimes

“The female prison population in Afghanistan overwhelmingly consists of individuals who are serving 5-to-15-year sentences for moral crimes,” Gabriela Maj writes in Almond Garden: Portraits from the Women’s Prisons in Afghanistan, out next month from Daylight Books.

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Post image for The Nomadic Libraries Bringing Books to the Four Corners of the Globe

Arriving by camel in remote areas of Mongolia or on boat along the coast of Norway, contemporary libraries are often mobile, creative, and community-driven, and are adapting rather than fading with the rise of electronic books and decrease in budgets.

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Post image for Finding a Haven for Taboo Fantasies in Erotica

Reviewing erotica is a difficult task, and maybe a futile one.

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Post image for Grayson Perry’s Art World 101

Grayson Perry’s Playing to the Gallery is presented as a beginner’s guide to the machinations of the art world, though it also holds a mirror up to the so-called “certainty freaks” — members of the art world who have an axe to grind or are stubbornly set in their beliefs.

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Post image for Still Photographs that Convey the Passage of Time

In the ’60s, photographers anxious about the art form’s legitimacy set out to distinguish fine art from documentary practices.

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Post image for You’ve Been Shot by a Smooth Photographer: The World of Michael Jackson Impersonators

Lorena Turner’s book The Michael Jacksons is the end product of a journey to track down, photograph, and interview Michael Jackson impersonators.

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Post image for A Personal Journey Through the Legacy of Apartheid

Catherine Taylor’s book centers on her search — what feels like an obsessive search — through veins of history buried in the time of apartheid in South Africa, where she and her family are from.

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Post image for Photographs Document the Global Traditions of Living with the Dead

Memento Mori: The Dead Among Us, a photography book by Paul Koudounaris out this month from Thames & Hudson, is a visual narrative of how a more visceral relationship to the dead thrives across the globe.

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Post image for A Poetic Record of Creations Lost, Missing, or Destroyed

Rarely has a book been so dizzyingly impenetrable while being, at the same time, so eminently readable. Les Unités perdus (The lost unities), by the French poet Henri Lefebvre, manages to both live up to this paradox and flourish within its idiosyncratic ramparts.

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