The Arts

Fresh Ink

By Edward Hardy / March/April 2018
April 1st, 2018
Spines of three books
Photo: Erik Gould

Millard Salter’s Last Day
by Jacob M. Appel ’96, ’96 AM (Gallery)

It’s Millard Salter’s 75th birthday. Millard, a New York psychiatrist, widower (his beloved second wife, Isabelle, died two years before), and father of three grown children, has declared that, to avoid becoming “dependent or diminished,” today will be his last day on the planet. By the end of this finely tuned novel, readers will be left hoping that Millard might reconsider. A rueful, moving, and darkly comic read.

Go Back to Where You Came From: The Backlash Against Immigration and the Fate of Western Democracy
by Sasha Polakow-Suransky ’01 (Nation Books)

In this vivid, deeply reported book, Polakow-Suransky, a former New York Times international opinion editor and former editor at Foreign Affairs, calmly explores the rise of the anti-Islam, anti-immigrant fever that has broken out in parts of Europe. Using interviews with refugees, immigrants, activists, and such politicians as the leaders of France’s Front National, he shows how right-wing, xenophobic, anti-immigration parties in France, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany have moved in from the fringes—a shift that has echoes in this country as well. A nuanced look at a complex issue as Polakow-Suransky wisely allows all sides to have their say.

Beyond Measure
by Rachel Z. Arndt ’10
(Sarabande Books)

The nineteen brief essays in this deft and sparkling debut all tumble around the questions of what is quantifiable and what is not. On the way, Arndt takes readers to a sleep lab (where she details her own struggles with narcolepsy), a judo tournament, a Nine Inch Nails concert, a lightning storm on Lake Michigan, and into the wilds of app-dating. Some of the pieces read like looping meditations, others are more diary-like, and a few are closer to prose poems, but they’re all worthwhile takes on the idea that measurement is a cultural force, one through which we all swim daily.

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Related Issue
March/April 2018