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Afghanistan: A Distant War

Nickelsberg’s two-and-a-half-decade photo chronicle expresses the bleak and harrowing reality of the country of Afghanistan with a visceral intensity that can’t be fully expressed in today’s 140-character headlines.

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Zef by Ballen

Roger Ballen and South African zef group Die Antwoord collaborated on the 2013 art book I Fink U Freeky, a book that could be either an endurance test of the will or a fitting representation of the young, white, lower-class “zef” who eke out an existence in post-apartheid South Africa.

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Big Letters & Bestiaries

Saccani surveys typographic installations from around the world in Letterscapes, one of the most exciting books I’ve come across this year. Poet Doty and artist Waterston collaborate to try their hand at the bestiary.

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Turkish Delights

At Chora, I purchased the inaugural issue of The Istanbul Review, edited by Hande Zapsu Watt, now available at many government-owned tourism sites in greater Istanbul. The 200+ page glossy includes brief interviews with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Gerhard Schröder, Elif Shafak, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Banana Yoshimoto, and an annoying Paolo Coelho. Highlights of the issue include […]

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New Walser

This November sees the release in paperback of Robert Walser’s Selected Stories (FSG Classics, $15), with a peculiarly pleasing semi-plasticized cover-stock. It includes well over thirty of Walser’s often very short stories and essays, including pieces about aviators, pimps, and poets, the last of which recounts his knowledge of “a poet, the author of most captivating verses, […]

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Two Letters from Henry Miller

Watercolorist and writer Irving Stettner ran the fun-loving, zine-style magazine Stroker—with its motto, “Every word like a Crackerjack box—with a surprise!”—from 1974 until his passing in 2002, publishing work by Henry Miller, Paul Bowles, Charles Bukowski, and many others. Issue 33 (1986) contained a pair of letters from his close friend Henry Miller.

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Dog-ears, Notecards, Lies

Erica Baum raises the dog-ear to new heights of artfulness. Roland Barthes mourns his mother, whom he lived with all his life. John Gallas tells lies by the bushel. David Shook profiles three recent books from Ugly Duckling Presse, Hill and Wang, and Carcanet.

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