Author Lisa Taddeo: I wanted to explore desire, not sex

In her extraordinary book Three Women Lisa Taddeo charts the intimate lives of real American women. Below, we print an extract In 2010, a young American writer called Lisa Taddeo published Gay Taleses notorious 1981 exploration of sex culture in 1970s America (Talese, a pioneer of new journalism, ran a massage parlour as part of his research; during the writing of the book, he stayed at a clothing-optional resort). Taddeo, conscientious but curious too, went to see Talese, by then in his late 70s, at his home in New York. It was the first of what would turn out to be several false starts. He said the only way I could come close to matching his so-called masterpiece would be …

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert review the glamour of New York

The Eat, Pray, Love authors romp through 1940s Manhattan is a glorious, multilayered celebration of womanhood There are some writers who are destined to be judged on one outlandish success.Robert Galbraith for nothing. But when your name is Elizabeth Gilbert and that book is A Signature of All Things, its so true to life in places including real historical figures in the story that it occasionally feels like pastiche. Elizabeth Gilbert Photograph: ddp USA/REX Shutterstock But Gilbert is nothing if not emotionally intuitive, and while City of Girls is unquestionably a sexy, glamorous romp, its similarities with vaudeville end there. The plot bristles with moral intent: Vivians fall, when it inevitably comes, is complete and damning and utterly gendered, its …

Why Tales of the City is still a revolutionary show

Armistead Maupins creation has been rebooted for a new generation. Laura Linney and its makers talk LGBTQ life on TV For five decades, Tales of the City has been life-affirming, life-changing and even life-saving. Tales of the City, which first came to the small screen as a pioneering Channel 4 miniseries in 1993, and has been revived sporadically ever since. Over the past 25 years it would bubble up, says Tales of the City received critical acclaim and high ratings but attracted protests and threats from religious fundamentalists around the country. The network bowed to the pressure and pulled out of funding a sequel. I was just shocked. I was so surprised, in a very naive, Mary Ann Singleton way, …

Literature provides shelter. That’s why we need it | Arundhati Roy

In a world that is hardening, literature can offer an indestructible place of refuge writes Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things I am truly honored to have been invited by PEN America to deliver this years Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture. What better time than this to think together about a place for literature, at this moment when an era that we think we understand at least vaguely, if not well is coming to a close. As the ice caps melt, as oceans heat up, and water tables plunge, as we rip through the delicate web of interdependence that sustains life on earth, as our formidable intelligence leads us to breach the boundaries between humans and …