This page-turner is really three books in one: a social commentary on how America's southern racism bathes northern cities; a true-crime story about a senseless neighborhood murder; and an intimate account of a young Black man trying his best to get his life back after nine years in prison. All this happens only a stone's throw from Yale's idyllic campus in New Haven, Connecticut. They say your zip code shouldn't decide your destiny. In this case, it's shocking what a difference a few streets can make.
An engaging, insightful, and frequently entertaining book about a subject that has been a source of both much nostalgia and derision: the American mall. It's also a subject that a lot of us think we know something about—because we’ve all shopped at malls. Alexandra Lange, a design and architecture critic, admits to having been a bit apprehensive at first about approaching the mall as a subject of serious study. But she says many people were eager to tell her their own mall stories when they learned of her project. She describes the mall as “an architecture born to be malleable,” and tracing its evolution from the 1950s, she refutes the widespread notion that malls are dead.
What does it mean to own something? What is our relationship to work and to money? How does the interplay between these concepts affect individuals, culture, and society? These are among the questions Biss ponders as she probes the underlying meanings and effects of ownership, capitalism, and power structures. Written in an understated and at times subtly humorous style, her episodic essays offer keen insights and provoke the reader to question many basic assumptions about the system we live under.