The Sunday Magazine for July 11, 2021
This week on The Sunday Magazine with guest host Elamin Abdelmahmoud:
Hanif Abdurraqib's joyful celebration of Black performance in America
In his new book, the poet, essayist and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib turns his lens to the ways in which Black performance is woven into the fabric of American culture. From the dance line on Soul Train to the magic shows of Ellen Armstrong to Aretha Franklin's funeral, A Little Devil In America: Notes In Praise of Black Performance is a poignant exploration of the intersection of joy and pain in the Black experience. Hanif Abdurraqib joins Abdelmahmoud to talk about how the long history of Black performance has shaped him, and what it says about race in America today.
What makes a 'good mother'? Writer Ashley Audrain explores the dark side of motherhood
It's one of the buzziest books of the year. Ashley Audrain's debut novel, The Push, is a searing look at motherhood told as a psychological thriller. It unsparingly probes the expectations put on moms, including the ones they put on themselves, and what goes wrong when motherhood and womanhood get too conflated. It goes beyond "bad mom" tropes to delve into the things mothers wish they could say — and why we all need to listen when they do say them. This is a repeat of Piya Chattopadhyay's interview with Ashley Audrain last January.