Staff Picks: What Flavorpill Editors Are Thankful for This Year

By Caroline Stanley

Willis_Out cover“I would be hard pressed to provide the single cultural product I loved best this year, but as far as the one I’m most thankful for, there’s no contest. Just over five years ago, Ellen Willis, one of the 20th century’s strongest critical voices, passed away. For decades, she had been a leading voice in radical feminism and leftist politics, prizing freedom through democracy as the ultimate pursuit. But she began her career, in the late ’60s and ’70s, as a pop critic — The New Yorker’s first. Willis brought the same passion, sensuality, and analytical power to her writing on Lou Reed, Janis Joplin, and Bob Dylan that she did to her political work, from which it is inseparable. Out of the Vinyl Deeps, edited by her daughter, GOOD editor Nona Willis Aronowitz, is a necessary reminder that there’s a deeply human side to music criticism, one that has largely been lost in the speed- and knowledge-obsessed 21st century.” — Judy Berman, Deputy Editor/Music Editor

Bonus: Speaking of Willis’s feminist work and other political writing, Emily Gould’s Emily Books recently e-published her collection No More Nice Girls: Countercultural Essays. We highly recommend checking that out as soon as you finish Out of the Vinyl Deeps.

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