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Seeing both sides in Ken Burns’ ‘The Vietnam War’

The Vietnam War begins like so many Ken Burns films before it: by listing, in the inimitable voice of Burns’ go-to narrator Peter Coyote, a series of dichotomies that the ten-part, eighteen-hour behemoth will inevitably toggle between, and struggle with, for the

‘Bojack Horseman’s fourth season spins its wheels

In its four seasons on the air—or at least online, where the best stuff increasingly resides—Bojack Horseman has cemented itself as one of the best shows on television, animated or otherwise. There is almost too much that can be said for

Understanding Vivian Maier

The strange tale of Vivian Maier has been well rehearsed by now. It has been the subject of countless articles, innumerable gallery programs, two documentaries and at least one court case. For those who haven’t heard it before, it goes

A novel idea

A novel idea

Books , Criticism Jun 29, 2017

In her celebrated 2008 essay, ‘Two Paths for the Novel,’ Zadie Smith set out to define exactly what it said on the label. There was Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland, with its lyrical realism and “authentic story of a self,” and Tom

Louis Nowra’s paean to a suburb

It’s a rare profile of Sydney writer Louis Nowra that fails to mention his long-term patronage of the Old Fitzroy Hotel in Woolloomooloo. It’s an easy journalistic go-to (and, as he reveals at one point in Woolloomooloo: A Biography, an

Stranger than fiction: Donald Trump and ‘The Plot Against America’

No author of speculative fiction wants to be proven right. To be proven right in the spec-fic game is to see the worst come to pass. No, speculative fiction is written as a warning, and the crow of “I told