'I Am Isolated in a Cell 23 to 24 Hours a Day': An Interview with Trans Inmate Synthia China Blast

Synthia China Blast is a Latina trans woman who, according to her family, has been in involuntary protective custody (IPC), a glorified form of solitary confinement, for almost 20 years. When we spoke, Synthia was incarcerated at Sullivan Correctional Facility, a men’s prison about two hours north of New York City.
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Watch Ariana Grande Tell Two Childish Radio Hosts They Need a 'Little Brushing Up On Equality'

In a recent appearance on California’s Power 106 FM to promote her new single “Focus,” pop superstar and admitted donut licker Ariana Grande put DJs Justin Credible and Eric D-Lux in their place after being asked a series of ignorant questions about makeup, cell phones, and unicorn emojis. »11/02/15 5:00pm11/02/15 5:00pm

Becoming Beyoncé Writer J. Randy Taraborrelli: "She's So Lucky To Have Me as a Biographer"

This week saw the release of the first major, large-scale biography on one of pop music’s biggest and most guarded stars: Beyoncé. The product of hundreds of hours of interviews from dozens of sources, J. Randy Taraborrelli’s Becoming Beyoncé aims to be the definitive chronicle on the creation of an icon. It also… »10/29/15 1:00pm10/29/15 1:00pm

A Chat With Amber Rose on Bad Bitch-isms, Life Tips & Why 'the Devil Made Instagram'

On page 19 of How to Be a Bad Bitch, there’s a photo of the author grinning in a sixth grade photo, eyes squinted, with chin-length dark brown hair that looks not quite dry. The laser stars in the background, familiar to anyone who went to middle school, makes the picture look extra cheesy. It’s part of an entire… »10/26/15 2:55pm10/26/15 2:55pm

"Say What You Will About Apocalypse, You Can Do Your Own Thing": A Conversation With Claire Vaye Watkins

Like real women, fictional women are often seen as wish-fulfillment. The “strength” that we look for in a female protagonist is often there for sentimental purposes, and rarely resembles the iron, irradiated accountability that matters in real life, a type of strength that’s like the desert—unsparing and mercurial.… »10/09/15 9:35am10/09/15 9:35am

A Chat With Sandra Cisneros, Beloved Author & Patron Saint of Chingonas

For Latinas of Mexican descent, a few women have reached saint-like status. There’s Selena, obviously, but for the bookish among us, Sandra Cisneros is the Patron Saint of Chingonas. Widely known as the author of The House on Mango Street, which tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Mexican girl growing up in… »10/07/15 11:50am10/07/15 11:50am

Why Margaret Atwood Is a Samantha: An Interview With Slaughterhouse 90210's Maris Kreizman

A little more than six years ago, Maris Kreizman started a Tumblr in which she paired literary quotes with photos from television shows called Slaughterhouse 90210. Over the years, she combined Designing Women with Tolstoy, The Sopranos with Woolf, and, well, you get the picture. Unsurprisingly, the Tumblr took off,… »10/06/15 11:50am10/06/15 11:50am

Inside the World of the Black Elite: An Interview With Margo Jefferson

Upon the publication of Lawrence Otis Graham’s Our Kind of People in 1999, the New York Times asked, “Is There a Black Upper Class?” On the surface, it was a foolhardy question—of course there was, and is, a black upper class—but if you were to peel back its exterior, as Graham did in his book, underneath revealed a… »9/29/15 4:15pm9/29/15 4:15pm

'She Told Me I Was Beautiful': A Chat with the Horse From Taylor Swift's 'Blank Space' Video

Because they told me several hours into a house party, I can’t remember exactly how I found out two of my best friends from Peace Corps were engaged to each other—but in my mind, now, it sounds like, “I have news. We’re getting married. And the horse at our wedding is going to be the same horse as Taylor Swift’s.” »9/28/15 12:00pm9/28/15 12:00pm

A Safe Place and a Straitjacket: An Interview With Lauren Groff

I blew through the last quarter of Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies in the wee hours, gasping. Surprise is rare in literary fiction, which is snobbish with its pleasures, generally picking meditation over movement; surprise is even rarer in novels that run on language as flush, wild and glinting as Groff’s. “Goodness,… »9/23/15 1:05pm9/23/15 1:05pm

Bojack Horseman Designer Lisa Hanawalt Talks to Cartoonist Kate Beaton

I first met Kate in 2011, when we both joined Pizza Island, a shared studio space in Brooklyn, and of course I adored her immediately. Kates the real deal (as if you could have any doubt). Whenever I move, her books are the ones I put in the I need these right awaybox: they’re funny, educational, and comforting to… »9/19/15 3:45pm9/19/15 3:45pm

Sally Jessy Raphael: 'It's Easy To Do Bad TV...And I Wasn't Up For It'

Former talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael was recently approached by Vulture’s Josef Adalian to discuss her friendship with late talk show host Morton Downey Jr., who’s the subject of a documentary premiering on CNN this week. The juiciest bits, however, are about Raphael’s own career in the industry. »8/20/15 1:45pm8/20/15 1:45pm

I’m Tired of the Black Woman Problem: An Interview With Tamara Winfrey Harris

Black women are in trouble. Or at least, that’s the narrative. Headlines warn that they’re less likely to attain a college degree than their peers; that they pose a higher risk to various health afflictions like cervical cancer and hypertension; that they “experience unintended pregnancies” at three times the rate of… »8/17/15 3:51pm8/17/15 3:51pm

Married To Surfing: Talking to William Finnegan About His Barbarian Days 

I picked up William Finnegan’s surf memoir Barbarian Days on a beach this summer, and felt—I was stoned, the sky was astounding, the waves were delirious—that I’d fallen into an almost violent communion. As with the excerpts previously published in The New Yorker, where Finnegan’s been a staff writer since 1987… »8/13/15 11:10am8/13/15 11:10am

There Are More Child Marriages Happening in 2015 Than You Think: A Q&A

Spain recently raised its minimum age for marriage from 14 to 16, and also upped the age for consent from 13 to 16. The BBC said last Thursday that, while only 365 marriages involving people under the age of 16 have occurred in Spain since 2000, there were 2,678 such marriages in the ‘90s and 12,867 in the ‘80s.
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'Fuck Moving On': Talking to Fallon Fox About Fair Fights, Ronda Rousey

When Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award earlier this month at the 2015 ESPYs, she spoke eloquently about supporting young trans athletes so they can compete “as who they really are.” Facing a theatre full of athletic stars, Jenner declared, “Trans people deserve something vital: They deserve your… »7/29/15 3:40pm7/29/15 3:40pm