Arts

Arts and culture

Madonna is no stranger to controversy, and she stirred it again last night when she showed up to the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Monday night wearing jewelry and garb from North Africa's Amazigh people.

Her ensemble included a horned headdress, heavy silver necklaces and a colorful tunic, all of which can be found in shops in Morocco, where she celebrated her 60th birthday last week.

Fashion critics had a field day. They condemned her for cultural appropriation and mocked her stylistic choices.

There's no shortage of statistics about the depth of America's opioid epidemic — there were 72,000 overdose deaths just last year — but numbers don't tell the whole story. Beth Macy takes a ground-level look at the crisis in Dopesick, a new book focusing on central Appalachia. Macy has spent three decades reporting on the region, focusing on social and economic trends and how they affect ordinary people — she says this area is the birthplace of the modern opioid epidemic.

There's a sentence at the beginning of Ling Ma's standout debut novel, Severance, that stopped me cold: "When you wake up in a fictitious world," one character tells another, "your only frame of reference is fiction."

Jessie Greengrass' Sight is one of those books that critics rave about, yet many readers wonder why. Here's why: Shimmering sentences and long paragraphs that unspool like yellow brick roads, winding toward emerald cities of elusive, hard-to-express insights. A definition of love as an "encumbrance of minutiae" which both anchors and defines you. Observations like this: "The price of sight is wonder's diminishment."

Lisa Hanawalt creates kids' stories for grownups. She's the producer and production designer for Netflix's animated BoJack Horseman, in which talking animals intermix with humans, and she's authored graphic novels like 2016's Hot Dog Taste Test and her new release, Coyote Doggirl. In Hot Dog Taste Test, Hanawalt looks at food from the perspective of a kid peering up over the table's edge, imagining all sorts of weird culinary combinations and just as ready to play with an appetizer as eat it.

Childish Gambino's "This Is America" and The Carters' "APES***" were the most talked-about videos of the last year, at least if the metric you use involves thinkpieces and social-media chatter. But by the time Madonna announced the video of the year winner on Monday night's MTV Video Music Awards, the two had been largely relegated to afterthoughts.

Regina King is a trailblazer, and the Television Academy has noticed.

The actress and director received an Emmy nom for the fourth year in a row — this time, for Outstanding Lead Actress in “Seven Seconds”, a crime drama series that premiered on Netflix in February.

Around the time Kevin Kwan published his 2013 satirical novel Crazy Rich Asians, a producer reached out with an offer: "I will option this movie if you are willing to change Rachel to a white girl ..." Kwan recalls the producer saying.

Kwan didn't even bother to respond.

The film adaptation of Kwan's book is now out. All of the characters are Asian and Asian-American, and all of the actors are of Asian descent.

Updated at 12:52 p.m. ET

Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the most prominent voices in the #MeToo movement, paid $380,000 to a man who accused her of sexually assaulting him when he was 17, according to a report by The New York Times based on legal documents anonymously leaked to the paper.

Pages