READ: Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley
Fiona Mozley’s second novel, Hot Stew, is a story of power and riches, gentrification, relationships of all varieties, and sex work. If you didn’t know, “stew” is old English slang for “brothel”. The focus of this story is the tenants, most of them who are sex workers, of an old building who are being forced out and the powerful people doing this forcing in hopes to build new condos. Mozley switches from a collection of characters’ viewpoints to paint the picture of Soho, London. The overlapping storylines and diverse characters make for a compelling read.
From the Publisher:
In the middle of the bustle of London’s Soho, among the theaters and sex shops and pubs, there sits a building. It isn’t particularly assuming, but its location is prime, and Agatha Howard, a young millionaire with a fortune of mysterious provenance, has decided it’s the perfect spot to build condos. First, though, she has to kick out all the tenants. And Precious and Tabitha, two of the women who live and work in a brothel housed in the building, are determined not to go quietly.
A colorful assortment of other characters also find themselves caught up in the fate of this property: Robert, a one-time member of a far-right group and enforcer for Agatha’s father; Bastian, a rich and dissatisfied party boy who pines for an ex-girlfriend; Jackie, a policewoman intent on making London a safer place for all women; and Cheryl, one of the many homeless people who occupy the building’s basement. As their lives converge, surprising hidden connections emerge, shadowy pasts are uncovered, and the fight over the property boils over into a hot stew.
Entertaining, sharply funny, and dazzlingly accomplished, Hot Stew confronts questions about wealth and inheritance, gender and power, and the things women must do to survive in an unjust world.
Get it here or at your local library!
WATCH: All the Streets are Silent
In the late 80s and early 90s, downtown Manhattan was where skateboarding and hip hop culture intertwined. Directed by Jeremy Elkin, this documentary is about this converging of subcultures that has had everlasting effects on culture, especially in fashion and visual language. Narrated by Zoo York co-founder Eli Gesner with an original score by legendary hip-hop producer Large Professor (Nas, A Tribe Called Quest) and old footage from the era, ‘All the Streets are Silent’ takes you through a history of the scene, from the DJ booths and dance floors of the Mars nightclub to the founding of brands like Supreme.
The documentary features original interviews with Jefferson Pang, Rosario Dawson, Gino Iannucci, Fab 5 Freddy, William Strobeck, Lil’ Dap (Group Home), Peter Bici, Darryl McDaniels (Run-D.M.C.), Leo Fitzpatrick, DJ Clark Kent, Keith Hufnagel, Ulli Rimkus, Kid Capri, Yuki Watanabe, Tek (Smif-N-Wessun), Mike Hernandez, Kunle Martins, Josh Kalis, Stretch Armstrong, Dave Ortiz, Alex Corporan, Vinny Ponte, Dres (Black Sheep), Scott Johnston, Moby, R.B. Umali, Bobbito Garcia, Ron Hunter, Carlo McCormick, Clayton Patterson, Ricky Oyola, Willo Perron, Eli Gesner, Rodney Smith, Mike Carroll, Kool Keith, Beatrice Domond and Tyshawn Jones.
++ Since the skate subculture is very male dominated, as is this documentary, we want to also shout out Skate Kitchen, the 2018 film that is about a group of women skateboarders (and furthermore the continued series Betty). While we think this doc is super cool and packed with incredibly interesting history, we still think it is important to raise up voices not included in the conversation of the time!
LISTEN: Charli XCX’s Best Song Ever on BBC Radio
Charli XCX has a new podcast out and we already love it– not only because it is hosted by the pop icon herself, but also because of the song recs given throughout the show by some of the coolest guests (Barbie Ferreira, Caroline Polachek, and Tove Lo are a few announced). This will definitely be your new way to discover new music or to just be reminded of an old song to put back on your playlists.
The first episode is out now on BBC Radio’s website (and it will be put on other streaming services Monday), featuring XCX’s close friend and collaborator Christine and the Queens. Together they discover the best song ever to walk through Paris in the rain to, fall in love to, to cry in the shower to; and, to keep when the water runs (they’ll explain).
As Charli XCX said closing out the first episode: “GO LIVE YOUR LIFE AND BE ICONIC!”