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Object Lessons is an essay and book series published by The Atlantic and Bloomsbury about the hidden lives of ordinary things, from sardines to silence, juniper berries to jumper cables. Joining us will be four authors reading from their respective Object Lessons books.
Questionnaires are everywhere: we fill them out in doctor's offices and at job interviews, to express ourselves and to advance knowledge, to find love and to kill time. But where did they come from, and why have they proliferated? In Questionnaire, Evan Kindley investigates the history of “the form as form,” from the Victorian confession album to the BuzzFeed quiz. In the process, he uncovers surprising connections between disparate fields (literature and science, psychology and business, journalism and surveillance) and asks fundamental questions about the questions we ask ourselves.
Evan Kindley is a founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books and a visiting assistant professor at Claremont McKenna College.
We all wear hoods: the Grim Reaper, Red Riding Hood, torturers, executioners and the executed, athletes, laborers, anarchists, rappers, babies in onesies, and anyone who’s ever grabbed a hoodie on a chilly day. Alison Kinney’s Hood explores the material and symbolic vibrancy of this everyday garment and political semaphore, which often protects the powerful at the expense of the powerless—with deadly results.
Alison Kinney is the author of Hood. Her writing has appeared online at The Paris Review Daily, Hyperallergic, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Inquiry, and other publications.
Waste focuses on those objects that most fundamentally shape our lives, and also attempts to understand our complicated emotional and intellectual relationships to our own refuse: nuclear waste, climate debris, digital detritus, video game graveyards, space garbage, and more. But waste, as the book argues, is not merely the immense field of our discarded objects; it's also the concept we employ in an effort to define and understand our individual relationships to time and desire. Waste is every object, plus time.
Brian Thill is the author of Waste (Bloomsbury), recently named by Jeff VanderMeer in Electric Literature as one of the best books of the year. His work has also appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, The Guardian, Jacobin, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and more. He's currently in the early stages of writing his next two books.
The phone booth exists as a fond but distant memory for some people, and as a strange and dysfunctional waste of space for many more. Ariana Kelly approaches the phone booth as an entity that embodies diverse attitudes about privacy, freedom, power, sanctuary, and communication in its various forms all around the world. Through portrayals of phone booths in literature, film, personal narrative, philosophy, and religion, Phone Booth offers a definitive account of an object on the cusp of obsolescence. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/phone-booth-9781628924121/#sthash.AQ4IIoOU....
Ariana Kelly works as a writer and teacher in Los Angeles. She is currently completing a book of essays about health and place.