Monthly Archives: February 2019

Black History Month—Read an Excerpt of ‘Street Players: Black Pulp Fiction and the Making of a Literary Underground’

February 20, 2019
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The uncontested center of the black pulp fiction universe for more than four decades was the Los Angeles publisher Holloway House. From the late 1960s until it closed in 2008, Holloway House specialized in cheap paperbacks with page-turning narratives featuring black protagonists in crime stories, conspiracy thrillers, prison novels, and Westerns that gave readers an unfailing veneration of black masculinity. Zeroing in on Holloway House, Kinohi Nishikawa’s Street Players explores how this world of black pulp fiction was produced, received, and recreated over time and across different communities of readers. Read on for an excerpt from the introduction of this exciting new look into the history and influence of black pulp fiction.  Irvine Welsh’s life changed after he found a copy of Pimp: The Story of My Life in a “used bookshop in Soho,” in London’s West End. Besides the title, what caught his attention was the author’s name. “How could you not pick up a book called Pimp written by a guy named Iceberg Slim?”1 he mused. The book did not disappoint. Originally published in 1967, Pimp was a coming- of- age story unlike any he had read. Abandoned by his father as a baby and left to his own devices by his mother as a kid, Slim recounted a boyhood spent on the streets of Milwaukee and Chicago, . . .

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5 Questions for Eitan Y. Wilf, author of ‘Creativity on Demand’

February 20, 2019
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5 Questions for Eitan Y. Wilf, author of ‘Creativity on Demand’

In his new book—Creativity on Demand: The Dilemmas of Innovation in an Accelerated Age—cultural anthropologist Eitan Y. Wilf focuses his keen eye on innovation in modern business, revealing how our obsession with ceaseless creativity stems from the long-standing value of acceleration in capitalist society. A masterful look at the contradictions of our capitalist age, this book is a model for the anthropological study of our cultures of work. We sent Wilf a few questions recently to learn more about his motivations for writing the book, his recent reads, and his former life as a jazz trumpeter. What’s the best book you’ve read lately? I just finished reading George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London. His prose is marvelous and his descriptions of, as well as insights about, poverty are ethnographic in the best sense of the term. How did you wind up in this academic field, and what do you love about it? Before studying anthropology, I majored in jazz performance as a trumpeter. Jazz is one of my biggest passions. I enjoyed music school very much but I also missed having a stronger theoretical-discursive focus. For the same reason, although I seriously considered fields such as medicine, physics, and civil engineering, I eventually decided to go in . . .

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