+ mixed martial arts
I was planning to recommend this recent Q&A with newsletter favorite Jennifer Wilson—a great intro to her work—then got lost in her endlessly fun, ingenious trove of writings and found a must-read interview with Raven Leilani, author of Luster.
If you haven’t read it, Luster is a novel about “young women having to squeeze resources out of one another” (a secondary theme, but a good one), and “that tension between having this art inside you, the will and the capability, and how that grind to survive frays the bandwidth you need to do it.” And being the other woman.
I shied away from reading this one—the summary alone is painful!—until Brittany K. Allen pushed me over the edge with an enthusiastic rec. (Her wonderful show Redwood plays in Minneapolis through March 13th).
Wilson’s interview with Leilani highlights the economic realism that makes Luster so remarkable. This novel is bursting with well-rendered sex, as I remember, but it’s Leilani’s attention to the absurd contours of 21st-century poverty and survival that makes it a page-turner.
The New Economy Coalition: “200+ organizations building the solidarity economy in the U.S. and showing that another world is not only possible—it’s already happening.” Explore the website for toolkits, explainers, and a detailed sense of what people are doing to restructure their workplaces and regional economies. You can follow them on Instagram or Twitter or sign up for their newsletter here.
Fighting in the Age of Loneliness, a YouTube documentary on mixed martial arts. Diction snobs might hate the sloppy voiceover, but the analysis of recent decades in American economic and military history is as sharp as it gets. One of the best things I’ve seen in a while.