“Short Term 12,” A Long-Term Memory

The new indie drama Short Term 12 looks like one of those well-meaning, poignant, emotionally powerful films I would never, ever want to see. It's about a very young white lady named Grace (Brie Larson) who works with kids and teens in foster care; she begins to heal her own inner wounds because of the unexpected connection she forges with a sullen, angry white girl in her care. Despite several unrealistic elements, the movie creates incredibly compelling characters and beautiful, potentially … [Read more...]

“The Lost Boys”: I review Jodi Angel’s “You Only Get Letters from Jail”

at the Weekly Standard:The words “have” and “get” pulse insistently through Jodi Angel’s new short story collection. What you have to do, what you get to do, what you get away with; getting in trouble, getting used to it. Sometimes Angel even doubles up on these words: “My stomach clenched a little and I got ready to get in trouble.” That tensed, hurting readiness is one of the collection’s central moods. The other is a post-traumatic numbness which can sometimes become sentimentalized and is … [Read more...]

“In Love and Struggle”: I review LaToya Ruby Frazier at the Brooklyn Museum

It's a terrific show, closing THIS SUNDAY, so check it out if you're in the area! It’s the kind of Mother’s Day card you might give if you come from an especially unflinching family: A mother stands tall and imposing in front of the camera, facing it squarely and glaring at it. The daughter stands behind her mother–she’s slim enough that her body fits entirely behind her mom’s, as her face looks away and down. Their two shadows merge on the wall, creating one larger, indistinct shadow. The mothe … [Read more...]

“What We Taught Children to Do to Other Children”

Indiegogo site raising money for Fix My Kid, a documentary on the abuses of the "troubled teen industry." (More here.) … [Read more...]

From Marilynne Robinson, “Home”

Those grown children had, almost all of them, bent their heads over whatever work she gave them, even though their bodies were awkward and restless with the onset of adulthood, fate creeping through their veins and glands and follicles like a subtle poison, making them images of their parents and strangers to themselves. There was humor in it of a kind that might raise questions about the humorist. … [Read more...]

Photographs of Moms Being Treated for Painkiller Addiction

at the Wall Street Journal: A small but growing number of clinics for mothers-to-be are cropping up around the country in response to a prescription-drug epidemic, which has triggered a rise of addicted mothers giving birth to drug-dependent babies. Between 2000 and 2009, the number of newborns showing symptoms of withdrawal from opioids, which are commonly used to treat pain, rose in the U.S. to 3.4 births per 1,000, according to a 2012 study in the Journal of the American Medical … [Read more...]

Cartoon Versions of Wilde Fairy Tales

"The Happy Prince" and "The Selfish Giant," from the 1970s. … [Read more...]


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