by Courtney R. Hall
Celebrity memoirs and autobiographies are nothing new. They act as a fruitful branch of a celebrity’s branding arsenal and are a cash cow for publishers. Spanning decades, it’s been a commonly held belief that many, if not all, of these memoirs were written by an unnamed third party, a ghostwriter. These publications would be seen as a piece of PR material created for super fans, full of fluff like a celebrity's go-to salad that they would consume daily on the set of the television program that made them famous. However, there is a shift occurring in the world of celebrity memoirs and those with fame taking control of their own narrative. Some celebrities have raised the bar for what constitutes a great celebrity memoir in an era where social media blurs the distinction between privacy and publicity and shortens the gap between stardom and the unfamous. In a post #FreeBritney culture, the public is aware of how destructive and misleading both the paparazzi and media are towards celebrities, especially those that are women. Fans are tired of being spoon fed fluff. What they now crave is authenticity.
by Skyla Everwine
The most punk-rock thing I did this semester was stand in line at a UPS and try not to cry. It wasn’t the basement shows or broken guitar strings, but being at UPS at 4 p.m. on a Tuesday. I had but one task: to print nine pages, double-sided and in color. And then do that until 50 more times.
It was the fourth or fifth printer I had gone to in order to print the zine I was making. I had learned that commercial printers were hellish portals to untamable frustrations, and that making the project for my Self-Publishing course with Dr. Jason Luther was far more difficult than it needed to be. I had turned what could have been a single page mini-zine into 36 pages of digital and hand-collaged interviews.
by Nyds L. Rivera
My first introduction to Jane Austen was when I was twelve years old, on the brink of coming out to my family, caught in the throes of questioning my sexuality. Pride and Prejudice was the first romance novel I ever read where I actually found some level of identity in it. Now, nearly a decade later, and still as enamored with Austen’s work as I was in middle school, I’ve discovered that this is far from a unique experience. Much of my close circle of friends is comprised of queer people, and most, if not all, of them are also fellow Austenites (Janeites? I’ve heard both). So why is this?
by Ellen Lewis
It was that time of year. I snuggled up on my sofa with my fuzzy blanket, seasonal coffee, and warmed up pumpkin muffin. I opened a brand new horror novel, and suddenly...it was all wrong! Sure, I was eating fall foods and reading a spooky story, but I wasn’t in the right mood. It took me a minute to realize that the pumpkin muffin was making me feel warm and cozy, not ready to read about blood and monsters.
As you sit down to read your favorite type of book, are you indulging in the correct food or drink—the one that will set the mood for your reading and not pull you out of it? Consider giving these suggestions a try to bring your reading experience to the next level. Embrace different genres by using food and drink to transport you to another world.
by Ariana Tucker
Go onto any major book-selling website and you’ll probably find a section dedicated to Black authors in the list of genres and subcategories. Amazon calls theirs “Amplify Black Voices” and lists it among other popular keywords like “Award Winners” and “Celebrity Picks.” Barnes and Noble calls theirs “Black Voices” and lists it among other browsing options such as “Large Print Books” and “Trend Shop.” Click on either link and you’ll see popular books written by Black authors, most of which are the same books we’ve been talking about for the last five years.
Barnes and Noble is the worst offender of this. On their featured page of “Fiction: Black Voices,” only four were published between 2020 and 2021 (Colson Whitehead’s Harlem Shuffle is their featured book from 2021). The rest are classics by Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, and Ralph Ellison and books by authors like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Sister Souljah, which were published in the 2000s and 2010s. Amazon at least offers a more up-to-date list of recently released books by month and recommendations from editors and Black icons like Billy Porter and Rick Ross. You can find almost any genre and any subject here, the only difference is that the authors are all BIPOC.