“Everything Happens to Me” is a jazz standard first recorded by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and Frank Sinatra in 1940. Around that same time is when Cesare Annunziata, the antihero of Lorenzo Marone’s striking novel (translated from the Italian by Shaun Whiteside), The Temptation to Be Happy, would have been born, and Cesare might have taken that song as his life’s anthem.READ MORE


Manhattan Beach

As women across the country publicly opened up about harassment and assaults by politicians, actors, and news personalities, I cracked open Manhattan Beach, the new novel from Jennifer Egan. And there it was in black-and-white: the systematic belittling of women harkening back to a time when the phrase “boys will be boys” might have been coined. Who says fiction is fake? READ MORE


The Invisible Mile

If you’re like me, around the time Memphis social media was blowing up over news that Zach Randolph would be wrapping his dishes in newspaper in preparation for a move west last July, you were caught up in the drama of super-sprinter Peter Sagan’s disqualification from this year’s Tour de France following his fracas in Stage 4 of the race.READ MORE

all our wrong

Today and Tomorrow

Our society’s obsession with youth and technology is widely apparent. When it comes to the simplest and easiest ways to roll back the hands of time, technology has given us space-age unguents to smear on the skin and eradicate wrinkles, dyes for our hair, pills to slough the pounds, pills for our cholesterol, pills for our poop, and pills for our peckers.

Technology might be the true fountain of youth.READ MORE


Southern Voices

Three new books take the reader from the dividing line of the North and South in the Civil War to the heyday of R&B and American Soul Music (with a stop along the way at Stax in Memphis), to a mix of tales that rely on past technology to tell today’s stories.READ MORE