Village Voice 12.07.2016 : Page 14

14 December 7December 13, 2016 ‘The Oliver Stone Experience,’ by Matt Zoller Seitz FOR LEFTY WARRIORS WHO ALSO LIKE COFFEE TABLE BOOKS BOOKS IN BRIEF Ten notable books of 2016, from the Voice ’s reviewers CHLOE CALDWELL, I’LL TELL YOU IN PERSON & the lives of female creatives in their twenties and thirties. She writes with an ear for raw thought patterns; her renderings of characters reproduced by their preferences and reduced to sad adulthoods are exquisite. HANNAH GOLD Caldwell’s new collection reads like a coda to her years spent bouncing from city to city, job to job, and BFF to BFF. But stumbling around in the dark can make for good stories. The strongest scenes re ect Caldwell’s preoccupation with the relationships we tend to discard — “people you don’t talk to anymore but who shaped you.” KATE GUADAGNINO Through the darkest days of the Reagan era, when Rambo and Rocky icks were tearing up the box oce, Oliver Stone somehow managed to make some of the most vibrant, politically engaged popular movies of all time, including Salvador , Platoon , and Born on the Fourth of July . This gorgeous, dense tome ($50) examines the writer-director’s eventful life and career through essays, interviews, excerpts, and a wealth of archival material. Stone recalls his conservative upbringing, his time in Vietnam, and his growing political engagement in the 1970s and ’80s, as well as the perils of success and the insanity of the lm industry. All throughout, Seitz and his collaborators’ essays contextualize and make the case for the director’s work. In its collage-like approach — its mixture of the conversational, the intellectual, and the surreal — the book at times feels like one of Stone’s movies. The highlights are the interviews with the director himself, who is extremely candid about his work, and whose contentious relationship with Seitz at times recalls a buddy movie. This was already one of the most essential lm books of the year, but in a Trump-infused world, it may become more vital than ever. BILGE EBIRI VILLAGE In the early Eighties, some three thousand men a night would dance beneath the rotating stars of the Saint’s planetarium ceiling. “At times,” regular Jorge La Torre recalls, “it felt like we were levitating.” This scrupulously researched, marvelously detailed history covers just four fertile years until the New York real estate boom and human loss cooled the swirling energies of downtown New York. MEGAN PUGH SARAH SCHULMAN, CONFLICT IS NOT ABUSE TIM LAWRENCE, LIFE AND DEATH ON THE NEW YORK DANCE FLOOR: 1980 1983 A fascinating look at the author’s intellectual and political development: The “young black man’s education” of the subtitle began, interestingly, with Aaron McGruder’s comic strip The Boondocks , whose references to Frantz Fanon, Malcolm X, and Huey Newton showed Smith whole worlds to explore. It is a pleasure to go exploring with him. CLIFFORD THOMPSON BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, BORN TO RUN MYCHAL DENZEL SMITH, INVISIBLE MAN, GOT THE WHOLE WORLD WATCHING: A YOUNG BLACK MAN’S EDUCATION The novelist, journalist, and AIDS historian suggests that if we are to meaningfully confront abusive LEOPOLDINE CORE, and oppressive behavior, we need WHEN WATCHED to “lower the bar for what must Core’s debut collection of stories enact domestic dramas that read like happen in a person’s life for their su ering to be acknowledged.” miniature plays perceived through Conict is a normal part of our lives a keyhole. The plot is often revealed through dialogue between two people despite a world that has a far easier time identifying only victims and ensconced in confessional spaces: in perpetrators, winners and losers. bed after sex, smoking weed on an apartment oor, stuck in a car during MELISSA GIRA GRANT a road trip, communing through a computer screen. ANELISE CHEN Like his music, Springsteen’s writing is earnest, often to the point of cheesiness; like his music, it’s redeemed by how much he believes in his message. Born to Run shows us just how directly Springsteen’s music emerges from his life, providing a hefty clue as to why so many of his fans have brought Springsteen into theirs. NICK MURRAY This memoir-ction hybrid is charged with an urgent velocity, as one woman attempts to survive the threat of an environmental apocalypse, all while negotiating the disenfranchised conditions of being female, broke, and queer in America. OCEAN VUONG MICHELLE TEA, BLACK WAVE A chronicle of both the hot, sweaty action at West Village discos and curatorial intrigue at the Guggenheim Museum, Crimp’s memoir Before Pictures details an especially active decade of the estimable critic and art historian’s youth, celebrating New York without eulogizing it. MELISSA ANDERSON KATHLEEN DONOHOE, ASHES OF FIERY WEATHER DOUGLAS CRIMP, BEFORE PICTURES ‘The Truth About New York: The Long-Term Visitor’s Guide to the City That Never Sleeps,’ by Amir Said In this cultural study and ultimate New York City guide ($24.99), Brooklyn writer/publisher/musician Said aims to uncover the many layers of New York and its residents, warts and all, FOR THE NONCOMMITTAL L.A. TRANSPLANT The stories of six generations of an extended Irish-American reghter family via the New York City disasters they lived through: the 1899 Windsor Hotel re, the East River blaze that sank the Slocum in 1904, the airplane collision over Park Slope in 1960, and, nally, 9-11. Donohoe has a knack for capturing heartbreaking moments with a gripping simplicity. ATOSSA ARAXIA ABRAHAMIAN George is the rare satirist who writes deadpan into the subtext of internet interactions and how they inform JEN GEORGE, THE BABYSITTER AT REST Illustration by Filip Peraic

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