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September 23, 2018

 
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TODAY'S TOP ARTS & BOOKS FEATURES

The Enthusiast: How Lisa Halliday ‘got' Philip Roth – and me
The Enthusiast: How Lisa Halliday ‘got' Philip Roth – and me
 

CRAIG OFFMAN

Like many Philip Roth fans, I have been sitting shiva ever since the novelist’s death last May and have since gone deep on the master, rereading, reading for the first time, or leafing through, his body of work. As a ghoulish little exercise, I wanted to find which of his 27 novels speaks most to our times.

As much as I love the deft lyricism and pyrotechnics of The Counterlife (horny Jewish dentist becomes a West Bank settler), it felt almost a little too timeless for my purposes. Many critics note that The Plot Against America, which recasts Charles Lindbergh as a proto-fascist president, foreshadows the Trump era, but amid so many of his major-league novels, it feels like minor ball. (If we’re talking alternative history, I prefer his essay on Franz Kafka, whom Roth reimagines as a bumbling émigré from Prague, a survivor of tuberculosis who becomes a New Jersey Hebrew teacher and hits on the narrator’s Aunt Rhoda.) A cautionary, febrile tale about identity politics that foreshadows academic excesses and intolerance, The Human Stain probably comes closest to what I was looking for – prescient and profound.

 
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Alex Janvier’s colourful life: ‘I am in love when I am painting’
  Alex Janvier’s colourful life: ‘I am in love when I am painting’
 
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Pocket-sized piety: At a Montreal exhibit, medieval manuscripts speak volumes about books in the present
Pocket-sized piety: At a Montreal exhibit, medieval manuscripts speak volumes about books in the present
 
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Kenyan court releases acclaimed gay-themed film from censors’ grip
Kenyan court releases acclaimed gay-themed film from censors’ grip
 
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BOOK REVIEWS

Two new Canadian novels examine universities' complicity in sexual violence
Two new Canadian novels examine universities' complicity in sexual violence
 
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New picture books aim to teach kids how to be in this world
New picture books aim to teach kids how to be in this world
 
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New YA novels putting girls, and their self-discovery, first
New YA novels putting girls, and their self-discovery, first
 
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BEHIND THE SCENES

Rosalind Fox Solomon photo exhibition reveals inherited history of southern U.S.
 

RACHEL WINE

RV-LISTING-0921
 
Valentine Boxes, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1976.
 

Liberty Theatre, Rosalind Fox Solomon’s first solo exhibition at Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto, is a collection of images taken from the 1970s to the 1990s shown together for the first time. The project began as a documentation of a historic court case in Scottsboro, Ala., in which seven men of colour were falsely accused and sentenced to prison for the majority of their lives. Fox Solomon’s interest was piqued as she spent the next four years documenting the town and its people, with the project eventually leading her to the wider region of the southern United States. Her images reveal an inherited history, acted out in later generations, that still rings true today. The exhibition runs until Oct. 13.

THE WEEK AHEAD

A virtual-reality film that imagines Toronto’s wild future
A virtual-reality film that imagines Toronto’s wild future
 
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CBC series In The Making peeks behind the curtain for intimate portraits of Canadian artists
CBC series In The Making peeks behind the curtain for intimate portraits of Canadian artists
 
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Can intermittent fasting help with type 2 diabetes?
Can intermittent fasting help with type 2 diabetes?
 
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Pot smoke reeks! Or am I just losing touch with my more liberal self?
Pot smoke reeks! Or am I just losing touch with my more liberal self?
 
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Astrology

Your lookahead horoscope: September 23
Your lookahead horoscope: September 23
 
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