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Were You Aware of This Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret Cover, In Which God Is Texting? 

You likely remember Judy Blume paperbacks as well-worn treasures plucked from the middle school library, brightly colored, with a cover illustration of a teenage girl with ’70s hair and a bad sweater. And the character of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, definitely did not have an iPhone with which to summon her…

What a Series of Cosmic Evangelical Thrillers Tells Us About Money in America

The sixteen-novel Left Behind series of evangelical thrillers is at least as influential a text in the annals of latter-day prophecy belief as the Book of Revelation. Which, of course, happens to furnish source material for the series’ intensively literalist accounting of the rapture, the tribulation, and the final…

Why We Keep Trying to Figure Out Self-Described 'Mouseburger' and Feminist Helen Gurley Brown

This spring and summer marks the release of two biographies on former Cosmopolitan editor and author of Sex and the Single Girl Helen Gurley Brown. They are not the first biographies written about Brown—Jennifer Scanlon received that distinction when she published Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley…

Inside the Autobiography of the Woman Who Claimed She Kept Jay Z as Her Sidepiece

Speculation abounds that Beyoncé’s Lemonade opus is about a cheating Jay Z, and part of it is because Jay Z has built quite the rumored reputation for that over the years. One person who has spoken directly to that is Carmen Bryan, ex-girlfriend of Nas and supposed catalyst for the legendary Jay/Nas beef that…

I'm Starting to Think the Greatest Hero in Game of Thrones Is Brienne of Tarth

Last night’s Game of Thrones begins with the sightless gaze of Jon Snow, right where we left him last year. But the most striking moments of the episode—including its final shocker—involve the gazes of women, usually without any words at all. There weren’t any dragons or zombies, and only a couple glimpses of a…

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'Like Blindness, Like Death, Like Exile': New Biography Explores the Life of Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward Howe is likely best known for penning Battle Hymn of the Republic. Hastily written in a Washington, DC hotel room during the early days of the Civil War, Howe’s patriotic lyrics became synonymous with the march of American soldiers. “As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,” Howe wrote,…

J.K. Rowling's History of Magic in North America Was a Travesty From Start to Finish

All this week, J.K. Rowling has been publishing History of Magic in North America, one part a day for four days. When it’s been at its best, it’s been sloppy; when its not at its best—which is most of the time—it’s uninformed and under-researched. At its worst, it is downright offensive, and here’s why.

Meet the Creators Who Are Masterminding the Return of Xena: Warrior Princess

It’s been over 20 years since Xena: Warrior Princess first came to our screens, but the love of Xena (and Gabrielle) burns as bright as ever. Now Xena’s coming back, in a big way. We asked Javier Grillo-Marxuach, showrunner of the new Xena TV show, and Genevieve Valentine, writer of the new Xena comic book, to…