Jennifer Spiegel’s new novel And So We Die, Having First Slept, released from the very tiny Five Oaks Press, which went out of business the same week the book was published. This is a book I blurbed, but reading it again, I was saddened by the idea that it might not have a very large audience. It is a really unique book. Expansive, painfully honest, most of all raw in a way that one rarely sees in a middle class literary register — it’s as if Hubert Selby, Jr., Dorothy Allison, or Larry Brown were operating out of the mind and body of a smart desperate suburban mother at mid-life. And then it does an amazing thing — it rises out of the desperation into a kind of quiet acceptance and wisdom, something akin to grace, a thing I’ve never learned to earn or achieve in a piece of writing that also at the same time feels true.

The NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine’s expansive digital exhibition, in which the “perspectives of surgeons, physicians, and nurses are richly documented in the history of American Civil War medicine, which highlights the heroism and brutality of battlefield operations and the challenges of caring for the wounded during wartime.”

The Prelinger Archives,
“a collection of over 60,000 “ephemeral” (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) films.”
I want to build an entire feature-length movie out of all this freely-available footage some time.

Dézafi, by Franketienne, the first Haitian novel ever written in Kreyol rather than in French, is available in English for the first time, in a new translation by Asselin Charles.

Cy Twombly.

Howard Finster.

above: Henry Darger.
below: Miniature embroideries by Michelle Kingdom.