Obama’s Male Gaze

. We forget it about Barack Obama. Amid his first-black-American-presidentness. His Africanness and his historical otherness. His – by American standards – worldliness. The youth in Indonesia and the exposure to Islam. The exotica, to mainlanders, of the upbringing in Hawaii. The life with a single mother. The academic achievement, the sometimes aloof scholarly mien. […]

Didion Dearest

. Sometimes posts pretty much write themselves. In 1975 Caitlin Flanagan’s mother and father, who was then chair of the Berkeley English department, hosted a dinner party for Joan Didion, a Berkeley alum back as a one-month Regents Lecturer. Flanagan, then only 14, was of course expected to attend. She is unforgiving. From “The Autumn […]