June 17, 2024

Late once again, so let’s get right to it.

Song: “One Half” by Julianna Barwick

A new track from Julianna Barwick’s forthcoming album, Nepenthe, due out on August 20th. Barwick’s MO is to pile layers and layers of her own vocals onto each other, generally obscuring the lyrics but creating beautiful, limpid spaces out of sound. This is more of that, though there is an interesting bridge which suggests she may be playing with this basic template. In any case, it’s good and I like it.



Article: “Unpromised Land: Eritrean Refugees in Isreal” by P.J. Tobia

Our news coverage, our academic specializations, and our maps all tend, to varying extents, to divide Africa and the Middle East from each other, placing them into totally distinct sections of our mental map of the world. Really, though, they are very close indeed, as this story makes clear. Since the country’s post-independence optimism faded into the twilight of a paranoid, authoritarian decline, tens of thousands have fled through the Sinai and into Israel, braving kidnappers and slave traders in search of work, education, or simply security. In general, Israel does not want them.


Story: “America”(PDF) by Chinelo Okparanta

Only July 8, the 14th annual Caine Prize for African Writing will be awarded, and until then you can read all of the short-listed stories on the prize’s website. “America” is my favorite from this year’s list, but they are all worth reading. I only wish that Nigeria was not so predominant (four out of the five writers are Nigerian), so we could get a bit wider representation.

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