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Jan 19, 2014

Hilton Als is the guest. His latest book, White Girls, is now available from McSweeney's—and it has just been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.

Junot Díaz raves

"I read Als not only because he is utterly extraordinary, which he is, but for the reason one is often drawn to the best writers—because one has a sense that one’s life might depend on them. White Girls is a book, a dream, an enemy, a friend, and, yes, the read of the year."

And John Jeremiah Sullivan says

"Hilton Als’s White a leap forward not merely for Als as a writer but for the peculiar American genre of culture-crit-as-autobiography. Its bravery lies in a set refusal to allow itself all sorts of illusions—about race, about sex, about American art—and the subtlety of its thinking is wedded maypole-fashion to a real confessional lyricism [...] Als taught me that I have a lot of white girl in me, too, and so does he. And so do you, is where it gets interesting. If you think that sounds like another blurb-job or post-postmodern twaddle, I defy you to read this book and come away with a mind unchanged."

Monologue topics: drought, fire, climate change, the (likely) dystopian future, Finland.