“The Chi” examines the human cost of gun violence

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LENA WAITHE did not squander her moment. “The things that make us different, those are our superpowers,” she told the audience in Los Angeles, as she became the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing in September. Ms Waithe, a lesbian, went on to thank her “LGBTQIA family” (standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual): “The world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it”.

Ms Waithe received the award for her writing on “Master of None”, a Netflix series. In “Thanksgiving”, the award-winning episode, the female protagonist—also played by Ms Waithe—struggles to come out to her mother. A few years ago, such a subject would have been considered niche, perhaps material for a sub-plot. Along with Issa Rae (“Insecure”), Donald Glover (“Atlanta”) and Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”), Ms Waithe, who is 33, is part of a generation of young writers, directors and producers who are toppling traditional ideas about what a lead character should look like and…Continue reading

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Personal pronouns are changing fast

NOT so long ago a man could be jailed in Texas for sex with another man. In 2015 a county clerk in Kentucky was jailed for refusing to certify the marriage of two men. Gay rights in America proceeded at an extraordinary rate between Lawrence v Texas (2003), in which …

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Giorgio Vasari, the man who created art history

Vasari made craftsmen into stars The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art. By Ingrid Rowland and Noah Charney. Norton; 432 pages; $29.95 and £23.99. TOWARDS the end of his life Michelangelo Buonarroti, the most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance, began burning his drawings. He did …

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Esther Kinsky muses on a river in England

Esther Kinsky goes with history’s flow River. By Esther Kinsky. Translated by Iain Galbraith. Fitzcarraldo; 368 pages; £12.99. To be published in America this autumn by Transit Books. IN HER post-war childhood beside the Rhine, the narrator of Esther Kinsky’s third novel learns that “every river is a border.” Flowing …