Nona Balakian was an editor at The New York Times Book Review who joined its staff in the 1940s, after studying with the legendary modernist literary critic Lionel Trilling at Columbia University. She was one of the founders of the National Book Critics Circle, which, following her death in 1991, created the annual citation for excellence in reviewing named in her honor.
Late last month, following a protest by House G.O.P. leader John Boehner and the Catholic League president William Donohue over its imagery of ants swarming over a crucifix, the National Portrait Gallery removed a video called “A Fire in My Belly” by the late David Wojnarowicz from an exhibition. (See this report in IHE.) Over the past week, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles painted over a mural it had commissioned from an artist named Blu; the mural showed rows of coffins draped in dollar bills.
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