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Dartmouth professor and best-selling novelist Alexander Chee’s new book “How to Write an Autobiographical Novel” is a collection of 16 nonfiction essays. The language is beautiful, the subject matter variegated and the insight profound. The essays are ordered chronologically, tracing Chee’s life through personally and politically transformative moments. While “How to Write an Autobiographical Novel” follows Chee’s journey as a writer, the book also details Chee’s many roles as student, cater-waiter, activist, gardener, lover, friend and teacher. In writing about his own selfhood, Chee explores large-scale political issues: the AIDS epidemic, the Iraq War, the 2016 presidential election. This book is a deep dive into Chee’s craft, a political thinkpiece, a memoir and a call to action.
Informed in part by the interest of students in his course Music 45.04, “Changing the World with Music,” professor of music William Cheng has been sharing his lecture “Loud Music Trial: His Music Was Not A Weapon” at colleges around the country. On Monday, Cheng brought the talk to Dartmouth, sharing the story of the fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Jordan Davis. Seventeen-year-old Davis was shot in Florida by Michael Dunn, a 47-year-old white man who claimed that Davis’ “loud rap music” constituted a threat to his life. Cheng’s talk is primarily interested in the subsequent trial and political organizing that occurred in the wake of Jordan’s death, and its proceeds are donated to the Jordan Davis Foundation.
In celebration of Earth Week, the Hopkins Center for the Arts hosted an exhibition curated by the Dartmouth ECO Reps, a presentation of student art that blended artistic design and environmental activism. “Garbáge: An Artistic Wasteland” featured works incorporating trash as a primary medium and theme, examining global struggles with pollution and waste management.
In Kayleen Schaefer’s “Text Me When You Get Home,” released Feb. 6, the infamous words of parting friends are made into the foundation for a broader dialogue about the nature of women’s friendships, on screen and off. Taking the American media and patriarchy to task, Schaefer challenges the ways in which the history of considering women physically, emotionally and mentally inferior to men undermines their relationships to themselves and each other.
Leslie Odom Jr. left the Broadway phenomenon “Hamilton” more than a year ago, but his Saturday night performance at the Hopkins Center for the Arts proved that there is far more to the Tony-winning actor than his portrayal of Aaron Burr.
The year is 2020 and sightless creatures roam the Earth, using their impeccable sense of hearing to feed on remaining human survivors. This is the premise of the new horror film “A Quiet Place,” and it’s a magnificent example of the sort of story pitch that manages to be provocative and exciting in a single sentence. As Hollywood studios attempt to monopolize comic book adaptations, sequels and shared cinematic universes, this species of engaging, original pitch has become increasingly rare.
Eight ukulele players walk onto a stage. It sounds like the setup to a bad musical joke, but on Saturday, a sold-out crowd packed Spaulding Auditorium to see the the eight strummers of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.
"Isle of Dogs"
The newest exhibition at the Black Family Visual Arts Center presents an array of works students have produced over the years at the Book Arts Workshop, tucked away in the basement of Baker-Berry Library.
Leya’s Island Grill, Hanover’s newest restaurant, opened in March, promising a mashup of Caribbean and Thai flavors. Four arts writers visited Leya’s on a slow Tuesday night to see how the new eatery stacks up. The transcript below has been lightly edited and condensed.
Daymé Arocena walks onto the stage like a ray of light. Barefoot and dressed head-to-toe in white, Arocena finally appears on the left side of Spaulding Auditorium. Her band — comprised only of a bassist, pianist and drummer — has played up to a crescendo for the past five minutes. She steps out of the darkness with a beaming smile, and the audience claps ferociously. Her entrance seems a spectacle, a finale, yet the show is just getting started.
The Baudelaire Orphans are back for a second season in Netflix’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” and fortunately for us the show hasn’t lost its gothic charm, idiosyncratic humor or heartfelt sincerity. Once again, producer and director Barry Sonnenfeld and his team of writers adapt the books from the beloved book series by Lemony Snicket (nom de plume for Daniel Handler) into two-part episodes. In doing so, they allow each book the chance to shine, breathe and grow in what is essentially a 90-plus minute mini-movie. This season tackles books five through nine: “The Austere Academy,” “The Ersatz Elevator,” “The Vile Village,” “The Hostile Hospital” and “The Carnivorous Carnival.” As the titles suggest, the show remains as erudite and obsessed with literary allusions as before.
Lauren Groff, a master of evocative prose and unexpected narrative twists, has a new book coming out this summer. Groff’s “Florida,” a collection of short stories to be released June 5, is her first work since the much acclaimed 2015 novel “Fates and Furies.” The new volume explores the themes of motherhood, mental illness and the general plight of being human. While we don’t know much about “Florida” beyond the publisher’s note, a look back at Groff’s most recent work — which then-President Barack Obama named his favorite book of the year — can help set our expectations for the collection.
While improvisational comedy has different variants — Dartmouth’s Dog Day Players do long-form improv with lengthy scenes and a returning cast of characters, while Casual Thursday favors short-form improv — the basic principles are the same. A great improv scene requires listening to one’s partners, following one’s instincts and being up for anything.
What do a reunited One Direction, a historical fashion show and Leo Tolstoy kissing Vladimir Lenin have in common? They were all a part of Gob Squad’s performance of “War and Peace” this past weekend at the Moore Theater.
While the conversations surrounding intersectional representation in film and media narratives seem more relevant than ever, it’s not always easy for students to know how to contribute. But film major Danica Rodriguez ’18 has already taken steps to expose biased casting in the media industry.
For better or worse, “Ready Player One” is the natural culmination of the narrative trends Hollywood and moviegoers have favored over the last five years — namely, an intense revival of interest in media from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Don’t believe me? Well, enjoy that new “Star Wars” movie, the new “Jurassic Park” movie and the new “Predator” movie all coming out later this year. So it should come as no surprise that someone had the bright idea to adapt Ernest Cline’s popular novel “Ready Player One,” a smorgasbord of nostalgia, to the big screen. The fact that it has been brought to life by Steven Spielberg, the man behind so many of the stories that Cline appears to love, is just the cherry on the sundae.
In “Hitler versus Picasso and the Others,” the final scars of World War II are far from healed. Art, argues the documentary, which played at the Black Family Visual Arts Center over the weekend, is the final Achilles heel of Germany’s atonement and the unfinished business of World War II.
The Silkroad Ensemble was at its best during the encore of its performance last night at Spaulding Auditorium. Opening with a fiery solo from pipa player Wu Man, the piece turned into a rollicking caper which used every instrument in Silkroad’s arsenal, from the thumping tabla to the breathy shakuhachi. Founder and world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, standing while he played, bobbed up and down with a smile on his face. In other words, it wasn’t your ordinary concert.