Friday, May 31, 2019

All Things Kate and Beautiful


KATE MOSS: we want to look at her, we want to hang out with her, but most of all, we want to dress like her. She tells AJESH PATALAY how, with her new collection of off-duty staples, we finally can

Photography Chris CollsStyling George Cortina
2 JUNE 2016

Kate Moss almost never gives interviews. Blame Johnny Depp, her onetime boyfriend. He taught her a lesson about fame – never complain, never explain – that she still follows to this day.

The irony is – and didn’t we always suspect this about her? – Moss, 42, loves to chat. In fact, that’s why she hates interviews, “because I talk too much,” she says. The truth is, she has a gift for it, spinning a yarn like the best kind of raconteur, her South London accent salting every word. And a conversation with her is peppered with the most delicious anecdotes. Here she is on one of her heroes: “I was really, really star-struck when I met Prince,” she begins. “It was with Donatella Versace; I was lying down on Donatella’s bed, in her suite, and she was talking about him, and I was like, ‘Why do you keep talking about Prince?’ And she went, ‘He’s there!’ I sat up, and he was sitting at the end of the bed. Oh my god, I couldn’t talk. Or look at him, really. But then I was like, ‘You should buy one of these catsuits, they’re amazing!’ You know, it was that sequin all-in-one catsuit I was wearing…”

Chances are you are already Googling the catsuit in question or, more likely, you know exactly the one she is referring to. That’s the thing about Moss: we have spent years parsing her style, charting her every outfit and earmarking our favorites, in the hope of borrowing a little of her cool. And it’s not just the sparkly catsuits; her dress-down moments have set whole trends in motion, particularly the Glastonbury festival looks: the waistcoats, the belts, the shirts-as-dresses with wellies. Only Kate Moss could make wellies that desirable.

What Was It Like to Meet Ernest Hemingway in a Bar?

Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn in Sun Valley, Idaho 1940.

What Was It Like to Meet Ernest Hemingway in a Bar? 

MAY 1, 2018
Back in the 1936, novelist Ernest Hemingway was a very famous man. So what was it like when the journalist Martha Gellhorn, who was visiting Key West with her family, met him in a bar?

Jacket_hi res_LOVE AND RUIN
Here is an excerpt from Paula McLain’s new historical novel, Love and Ruin(Ballantine Books), which tells the story of Hemingway and Gellhorn, who became his third wife, during their very first encounter.

He wore a ragged T-shirt and shorts that seemed to have come from the bottom of a fish barrel—both of which weren’t doing him any favors. But it was him. His dark, nearly black hair fell over one side of a pair of round steel-wire spectacles. He caught me watching him, and our eyes met for a split second before he passed his hand through his mustache absentmindedly and went back to a stack of letters he was reading.
I didn’t say a word to Alfred or Mother, just let myself look at him for a moment, as a tourist looks at a map. His legs were brown and muscled as a prizefighter’s. His arms were brown, too, and his chest was broad, and everything about him suggested physical strength and health and a kind of animal grace. The whole picture made an impression, but I wasn’t going to trot over there and confess that I had his photo in my handbag, marking the page of my mystery novel. I’d clipped it from Time magazine, and also the long article alongside it, that he’d written about bullfighting. I didn’t want to stammer out how meaningful his writing was to me, or abase myself by claiming I was a writer, too.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

'It's a silent conversation' / Authors and translators on their unique relationship

Soul mates … English language translator Flora Drew with Chinese author Ma Jian.
Photograph: Antonio Olmos/The Observ

'It's a silent conversation': authors and translators on their unique relationship

From Man Booker International winner Olga Tokarczuk to partners Ma Jian and Flora Drew … leading authors and translators discuss the highs and lows of cross-cultural collaboration

Claire Armitstead
Saturday 6 April 2019

n the night of last year’s Man Booker International prize ceremony, two winners swept up to the podium – novelist Olga Tokarczuk and her translator Jennifer Croft – but a third was back at their table cheering louder than anyone. “I was thrilled to bits, I still am,” says Antonia Lloyd-Jones. What makes this unusual is that Lloyd-Jones is the Polish author’s other translator, who has been working with her far longer, but wasn’t responsible for the winning novel, Flights. With a shared purse of £50,000 at stake, was there not even the tiniest bit of envy? “We’re a team – of course it’s Olga and Jennifer’s win, not mine, but it’s great for all of us who have spent years trying to popularise her books outside Poland, and it’s great for Polish literature in translation,” says Lloyd-Jones. “This was a major breakthrough after almost 30 years of work. And it has done sales of my own translations a lot of good.” Nifty scheduling by the indie publisher Fitzcarraldo has meant that these include Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, a quirky eco-thriller very different from Flights, which has won Tokarczuk her second Man Booker International prize longlisting. This year’s shortlist will be announced on Tuesday.

See the 2019 Pulitzer Prize photography award winners

children among migrants
A migrant girl traveling with a caravan of thousands from Central America en route to the U.S. holds her belongings while making her way to Mapastepec from Huixtla, Mexico at sunrise on October 24, 2018.Adrees Latif

See the 2019 Pulitzer Prize photography award winners

The winners were awarded a $15,000 prize for the work.

The 2019 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced this week at the Columbia School of Journalism. The photography staff from Reuters took first place for Breaking News Photography and Lorenzo Tugnoli of The Washington Post took first place for Feature Photography. The winners each won $15,000 as their prize.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Blow-Up / Behind the Most Famous Film on Photography

Blow-Up: Behind the Most Famous Film on Photography

Zoom in on Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 cult classic

American Photography
David Hemmings und Veruschka von Lehndorff in Blow-Up (Regie: Michelangelo Antonioni), 1966 by Tazio SecchiaroliNeue Visionen Filmverleih GmbH/Turner Entertainment Co. - A Warner Bros Entertainment Company—Courtesy Philippe Garne

Posters / Michelangelo Antonioni / Blow-Up

Michelangelo Antonioni

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

10 of Ian McKellen's Most Delightful Quotes on Aging Gracefully

(Getty Images)

10 of Ian McKellen's Most Delightful Quotes on Aging Gracefully 

Lindsay Lowe
MAY 25, 2019

Happy birthday, Ian McKellen! The British actor turns 80 on May 25, 2019.
McKellen may be one of the most celebrated actors alive today, with countless awards to his name. However, he remains humble and down to earth when reflecting on his long career, and the changes that come with aging.
In honor of his milestone birthday, here are 10 of his best quotes on aging wisely and gracefully.
1. “When you grumble about a taxi being dirty, people your own age will absolutely agree with you, whereas younger people say, ‘You should be so lucky to have a taxi—I walk to work!’ So I have lots of young friends, who fortunately don’t treat me as a guru, a person that knows all the answers.”
2. “I quite like it when I’m on the Tube and people offer me their seat. Sometimes I take it. The other day I was offered a seat by a pregnant lady. I thought, ‘That’s going a bit far.'”
3. “It is really, really wonderful that in your old age you are protected by specialists who understand your problems and sort them out for you. Well, isn’t that what we all need?”
4. “You always think that 70 is the end of the road: ‘Somebody died when they were 73; good life.’ You’re closer to death, and you better make sure you don’t waste too much of your time doing things you don’t want to do. No point in saying things you don’t believe in.”
5. “So it’s joyful to me, in my 71st year, to be able to be in a play that is absolutely right for my age and my experience, and that is a popular success. What more could you ask as an actor?”
6. “There are not many things in my life I can be absolutely proud of or certain I got right, but one of them is that I’ve got better as an actor. I’ve learnt how to do it. And I still have enough energy to do it.”
7. “I don’t really like being with people my own age for long periods, because all we talk about is our decrepitude, how the world is changing for the worse even though it isn’t.”
8. “I am lucky, I don’t have aches and pains. I do Pilates regularly, which is a series of stretching exercises, and I recommend it to anyone of my age because the temptation is not to exercise when you get older. Well, you should.”
9. “Eventually, before I die, I hope to have written about every part I’ve played.”
10. “I don’t have Gandalf the White’s certainty about everything.”

Michelangelo Antonioni / La notte


by Michelangelo Antonioni

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Starring Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau and Monica Vitti
(1961) “I no longer have ideas. Only memories.” A day and a night in the life of a troubled marriage, set against Milan’s gleaming modern buildings, its gone-to-seed older quarters, and a sleek modern estate, all shot in razor-sharp b&w crispness by the great Gianni di Venanzo. Writer Marcello Mastroianni and his wife Jeanne Moreau visit a dying friend; drop by a night club with an amazing Black contortionist dancer; then wind up at an all-night party at a suburban villa, where Mastroianni flirts with seeming playgirl Monica Vitti, while Moreau tries for a sports car affair of her own, until a tormented dawn encounter at a deserted golf course. Perhaps Antonioni’s most compassionate examination of the emptiness of the rich and the difficulties of modern relationships (minority naysayer Pauline Kael’s review was headlined “The Come-Dressed-As-the-Sick-Soul-of-Europe Parties”); while its tour-de-force, Moreau’s walk through the streets of Milan, “has its place in any film anthology” (Mira Liehm). DCP Restoration. Approx. 122 mins.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Haruki Murakami's new novel declared 'indecent' by Hong Kong censors

Haruki Murakami's new novel declared 'indecent' by Hong Kong censors

Ruling says Killing Commendatore must be wrapped with warnings of unsuitability and restricted to an adult readership

Alison Flood
Wed 25 Jul 2018

The latest novel from Haruki Murakami, Japan’s most celebrated literary export, has fallen foul of censors in Hong Kong, where it was ruled to be indecent by a tribunal and removed from display at a book fair.
Hong Kong’s Obscene Articles Tribunal announced last week that the Chinese-language edition of Murakami’s Kishidancho Goroshi, or Killing Commendatore, had been temporarily classified as “Class II – indecent materials”, according to the South China Morning Post. This means that it can only be sold in bookshops with its cover wrapped with a notice warning about its contents, with access restricted to those over the age of 18. The ruling has also seen the novel pulled from booths at the Hong Kong book fair, where a spokesperson said the novel had been removed proactively after last week’s ruling.

Haruki Murakami by Karen Murray

by Karen Murray

Haruki Murakami is my favourite author. His usually surreal tales really captivate my imagination. A few years ago when I first started to do a little illustration (along side my day job as a web designer), I thought creating an illustration for each of his novels would be great practice. They proved a hit, with many people asking if I was selling them as prints. When I finally moved into illustration full-time, I decided to do just that, but as I'd improved greatly as an illustrator, I felt that before that could happen, a redo was in order.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Periel Aschenbrand / The 'sleep with anyone you want' guide to dating: How a year of one-night-stands led one woman to the man of her dreams

Periel Aschenbrand
True love: Periel reveals how she met her now-husband, Guy, when she got drunk at a cousin's wedding and embarked on what she assumed would be nothing more than a dirty weekend

The 'sleep with anyone you want' guide to dating: How a year of one-night-stands led one woman to the man of her dreams

  • Periel Aschenbrand, 37, from New York City, charts every embarrassing detail of her sexual escapades in her new memoir, On My Knees
  • She believes that dating advice today is outdated and contrived, and that women should 'sleep with anyone you want, when you want'  

PUBLISHED: 17:05 BST, 14 August 2013 | UPDATED: 22:48 BST, 14 August 2013

When a beautiful fashion designer embarked on a crazy year of one-night stands, the last person she expected to meet was the man of her dreams.

Periel Aschenbrand / Knee Deep


By Royal Young
Published June 18, 2013
Periel Aschenbrand’s latest memoir, On My Knees (It Books), is a raunchy, raucous, hilarious ride. Aschenbrand, who grew up Jewish in Queens, recounts her neurotic Israeli mom and more laid-back father in loving and unflinchingly funny detail. Yet this is more than a lightly humorous family fable. Aschenbrand has a dark, self-destructive side, too; and the book follows her chain-smoking journey through loneliness, lovers, and countless Law and Order reruns. She recounts a fun, flirty—but ultimately sort of sad—night partying with Philip Roth and writes vulnerably yet boldly about fucking up. What results is a self-deprecating but strong wisdom, a self-knowledge only those of us who have lived with ourselves at rock bottom can achieve. Brave, smart, sexy, and sharp, Aschenbrand is an expert at writing her life as a tantalizing striptease.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Periel Aschenbrand / If Jenny Saville and Lucien Freud had a Cannibal Baby (or a Love Child)

If Jenny Saville and Lucien Freud had a Cannibal Baby (or a Love Child)


I was introduced to Brooke by a mutual friend, who just happens to be an editor at Vogue. She said I had to meet her. I am constantly being told that I have to meet someone or other and being that I am mildly anti-social, I usually just nod and offer some bullshit variation of “I’d love to,” and pray no one will remember.

However, when the introducing party is an editor at Vogue, one generally pays attention.

So I went to meet Brooke, for pizza.

Periel Aschenbrand / Obsessions

Photography by Zollo

I’ve never thought about writing a self portrait before, which is funny considering the only thing I ever write about is myself. Truth be told, I didn’t even know you could write a self portrait. I thought you had to paint or draw or photograph it. But once I got started, I realized that I could go for hours and hours like this. I get to just go on about my favorite topic...myself.

Full disclosure: As someone who writes humor, it’s really easy to be self deprecating and, as such, get away without revealing too much about myself. Which is to say that even though I’m writing about myself, I usually think of myself as a character rather than really as, well, me.
But this is supposed to be different. As such, I’ve tried to be as revelatory and honest as possible and simultaneously not come off like a totally pretentious asshole. The results are questionable.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Periel Aschenbrand II

Periel Aschenbrand

Periel Aschenbrand II (The Bat Segundo Show #505)

Periel Aschenbrand is most recently the author of On My Knees. She previously appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #7.
Author: Periel Aschenbrand

We talk with Periel Aschenbrand, one of Bat Segundo’s very first guests, for the first time in eight years, to discuss her latest memoir, ON MY KNEES, thank you notes, being introduced to Philip Roth as a “great writer,” judging other people, demonizing relatives in a book, and dental hygienists who may have killed their spouses.

Sex, Spider-Man and the hubris of being a writer

Periel Aschenbrand

Sex, Spider-Man and the hubris of being a writer

Sarah Bruni, Adelle Waldman, Alissa Nutting and Periel Aschenbrand talk about writing in very few words

JUNE 25, 2013 4:00AM (UTC)
Sarah Bruni, Adelle Waldman, Alissa Nutting and Periel Aschenbrand are the authors of four hot summer reads — three debut novels and a memoir. "The Night Gwen Stacy Died," by Bruni, is a strange love story about an Iowa teenager and a man who calls himself Peter Parker and her Gwen Stacy (Spider-Man’s girlfriend). Waldman’s "The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P." chronicles the romantic misadventures and status anxieties of the titular protagonist, an up-and-coming writer in Brooklyn. "Tampa," Nutting’s second work of fiction, is a ripped-from-the-tabloids tale of a female teacher’s seduction of her young male student. And Aschenbrand’s memoir "On My Knees" is — well, just read it. I interviewed them as a group with a number of verbal restrictions on some of their answers:
Without summarizing the plot in any way, what would you say your novel is about?
Sarah Bruni: The Midwest. Spider-Man. Identity-borrowing. Adolescence.  Fugitives falling in love. Formative acts of reading.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Why are we so obsessed with young, successful people like Sally Rooney?

Sally Rooney

Why are we so obsessed with young, successful people like Sally Rooney?

The author’s achievements are considerable – but it’s her talent that matters, not her age

Ammar Kalia
Monday 14 January 2019


hen 27-year-old novelist Sally Rooney became the youngest-ever winner of the Costa Book Prize last week, it was to deafening cheers of critical acclaim that have characterised her brief career. Rooney has already been heralded as “the first great millennial novelist”, and a “Salinger for the Snapchat generation”. And these Snapchatting millennials have since been overwhelming booksellers in the rush to read their author, prompting shops to advertise that they still have copies of her novel, Normal People, in stock. Yet, for all her obvious talent, the fanfare around Rooney’s award made this millennial’s heart sink slightly.

The slightly frenzied reaction to Rooney seems to be symptomatic of the way we now greet achievements by young people. Last year, another 27-year-old author, Daisy Johnson, became the youngest person to be shortlisted for the Man Booker prize for her debut novel, Everything Under. Likewise, some of 17-year-old Autumn de Forest’s expressionist paintings have been valued at $7m (£5.5m), poet Ocean Vuong was only 28 when he won the TS Eliot prizefor his debut collection in 2017, and Christopher Paolini published the first of his bestselling Inheritance series when he was in his teens. It seems we increasingly celebrate youthfulness as a marker of success in and of itself; Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 list began in 2017. This year’s cohort includes 11-year-old designer Kheris Rogers and seven-year-old “activist” Havana Chapman-Edwards.

Rooney, Johnson and their contemporaries’ acclaim might be well-deserved, but our obsession with publicising youthful achievement has consequences. Anne Helen Petersen’s article on millennial burnout went viral last week for its critique of how the precarious economic environment has led to what she describes as “errand paralysis” in millennials; the pressures to succeed at work and in our personal lives – perhaps with stories of 20-something geniuses at the backs of our minds – leave us unable to undertake even the simplest of tasks.

‘Poet Ocean Vuong was only 28 when he won the TS Eliot prize for his debut collection in 2017.’ Photograph: Adrian Pope

The focus on prodigies also means that older artists don’t always get their due. For instance, one of the best albums of 2018 came from 68-year-old bluesman Lonnie Holley. Traded for a bottle of whisky as a child and one of 26 siblings, he uses his gravelly baritone to sing of the injustices of his bewildering life and powerful musical resurrection. Similarly, singer Charles Bradley had to make his living as a James Brown impersonator for most of his career, only releasing his own music at the age of 63 with 2011’s No Time for Dreaming. He released two more records before dying in 2017 at the age of 68. In the art world, the painter Rose Wylie only began being given major solo exhibitions in her 70s.
The moral of these examples is out of kilter with the times, and hugely inspiring. It’s not “if you’re lucky enough you’ll be born brilliant”, but “keep plugging away and you’ll eventually find the success you deserve”.

The effects of the fetishisation of youth aren’t just felt by onlookers. For the prodigies themselves, the blaze of publicity isn’t always benign. The traumas of child stars such as Michael Jackson have been well documented, but last year we were reminded of Lauryn Hill, whose critically acclaimed debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, was released 20 years earlier, when she was 23. It was her only solo album. And after the enormous success of his debut in 1987 at 25 years old, Terence Trent D’Arby claimed recently he has been left with PTSD .

I’m not saying we should discourage youthful achievement – but perhaps we ought not to capitalise on it so aggressively when it occurs. The “race to success” is not always worth winning. We should listen to Rose Wylie: “It shouldn’t be about age or gender or anything, it should just be about the quality” – of the work, the life lived, the quieter moments.

• Ammar Kalia is a Guardian journalist and holder of a Scott Trust bursary

I should have slept with Philip Roth

Philip Roth

I should have slept with Philip Roth

"Would you like to taste one of my cherries?" the great writer asked me, flirtatiously. And then I blew it

JULY 1, 2013 4:00AM (UTC)
Excerpted from "On My Knees"
One of the perks of my job -- I got to go to really interesting events and meet really interesting people all the time. Some people were more interesting than others, of course, and I'd learned that meeting people you admire is often a bummer. They are generally shorter, fatter and uglier than you imagined, but that's neither here nor there.
In this particular scenario, I was being introduced to Philip Roth, my mother’s favorite writer, whom I had heard her refer to as “the literary lion.” And while I’ve never been particularly starstruck, I flipped when I found out Roth was going to be there. Next thing I know, a mutual friend takes me by the hand, drags me over to Roth, and introduces me to him in this fashion: “Philip. Zis is Periel, she is a grrrreat writer.”
I could not imagine anything more humiliating in the entire world. I wanted to curl up in a hole and die. Adding insult to injury, a friend of Roth’s who was lingering around us, nodded toward Roth and said to me, “So you like him, huh?”
In attempt to salvage whatever miserly bit of self-respect I had left, I said, “Well, I don’t know him, so I can’t like him, but I do like his work.”

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Anaïs Nin / Sex and the open stacks

Anaïs Nin

Anaïs Nin

Sex and the open stacks

By Kathy Wilson

Ah, the public library circa 1982. The workhorse institution of the community, a perpetually underfunded repository of stuffy reference books, underpaid librarians, used book sales, tax forms, broken microfiche readers -- and pornography.

Lurking right there in the open stacks of my suburban public library was enough smut to blow my impressionable 13-year-old mind. My life changed the day I spied Anaïs Nin's "Delta of Venus" on a shelf in the fiction section. I quizzically studied the photograph on the cover. It showed a girl in strange clothing contorted on an old armchair, her dress hiked up to her hips, revealing a stocking attached to a lacy undergarment. "Erotica" the cover said. I cracked open the book to see what was inside.

A blunt conversation about life online with Bret Easton Ellis

A blunt conversation about life online with Bret Easton Ellis 
Disappear here...

Movies are finished, the novel is dead and the internet is driving people insane. Welcome to the world of Bret Easton Ellis: a literary maverick who’s brutally honest about the digital age.
Text by Steven T. Hanley 
Photography by Patrick Fraser
Bret Easton Ellis is no stranger to shit-storms. At a time when most public figures communicate through the prism of PR, his take on the world feels aggressively unfiltered.
For three decades, Bret’s output as a bestselling author has been underpinned by biting humour and transgressive social commentary – the kind that never fails to cause controversy.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Art of Brian Sanders / Five Decades of illustration

The Art of Brian Sanders

Bryn Havord

Friday, December 30, 2011

My first meeting with Brian was during the 1960s, when as art director of Woman’s Mirror, I commissioned him to illustrate a ten-part serial for the magazine. During the past year we have renewed our acquaintanceship becoming friends, and realizing that we have much history in common.


(Above: This is the first opening spread from the first commission I gave to Brian; a ten-part serial for Woman's Mirror, 1964.)

Educated at St Olave’s Grammar School, which then stood at the foot of London’s Tower Bridge, Brian spent much of his final year life drawing and painting at the Sir John Cass College of Art, less than a mile away on the other side of the river. He was offered a place at the Slade School of Art, but because of family circumstances he went to work in an advertising agency.


(Above: A portrait of Brian’s eldest son Mark, showing a keen interest in a worm. Always interested in and biology, now in his early 50s, he works in the radiology department of a New Zealand hospital.)

Quickly learning that most of its artwork was commissioned from two London artists’ agents, he joined one of them as a ‘gofer’. Artist Partners exposed him to sixty world-class artists and photographers and their work. He owes much to the help that many of them gave him.