This selection of writings encompass the author's cultural observations on everything from music and movies to books and television throughout the past four decades.
An analysis of Shakespeare's Hamlet explores the prismatic qualities that enable the play to project meaning, providing original perspectives to consider the Hamlet's political context, relation to religion and reflection of love and desire.
You know the song — Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." You've probably listened to one of the many covers, sung by the likes of Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainright and Michael Bolton; odds are high you've caught some of its many appearances in film and television. But, as Alan Light writes, the anthem was not always destined for classic status. When it was first released, it was practically unheard of — but in the nearly 30 years since, it has been covered by dozens of artists, accumulating a history that's as improbable as it is unique.
Respect Yourself traces the rise and fall of the original Stax Records, touching upon the racial politics in Memphis in the 1960s, the personal histories of the sibling founders and the prominent musicians they featured.
The pop culture historian and author of Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. presents a portrait of the renowned dancer, choreographer, screenwriter and director that traces his numerous reinventions and prodigious professional achievements as well as his romantic relationships and excessive appetites.
Duncan Wall recounts his novice plunge into the abstract and intensely competitive world of the contemporary circus. To the stories of his own experience, Wall adds a history of circus performance in general, including his commentary on its current resurgence in popularity with acts like Cirque du Soleil.
When Jonathan Cott and John Lennon met in 1968, it was the beginning of a friendship that would span more than two decades. Cott's new book chronicles his years in Lennon and Yoko Ono's company.
A celebration of the work of the late Academy Award-nominated author and screenwriter collects her writings on topics ranging from journalism and feminism to food and aging, in a volume complemented by her notorious Wellesley commencement address and her recent blogs about death.
One of the modern world's leading conductor delivers an assessment of the life and achievements of the 18th-century master composer. The book shares scholarly insights into how Bach worked, how his music is constructed, how it achieves its effects — and what it can tell us about Bach the man.
New Yorker film critic David Denby considers the future of America's troubled movie industry. He explores film as both an art and a business, tackling topics from the "fandom" phenomenon and the work of critics James Agee and Pauline Kael to the global marketplace's increasing demands for spectacle and digitalization.
Kansas City Lightning is the first of two volumes tracing the life of one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Crouch draws on interviews with family, peers and collaborators to reveal Charlie Parker's Depression-era childhood and his early career in Kansas City and New York.
A founding member of the iconic bands Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the Hollies shares the story of his life from his youth in post-war England, through his creative relationship with Joni Mitchell and his enduring career as a solo musician and political activist.
A darkly comic tale by the actor, artist, and author is told in the style of Alcoholics Anonymous twelve-step testimonials, scripts, letters, diary entries and other forms that explore the nature and purpose of acting while sharing portraits of actors who did not achieve fame.