The Email Master

By all accounts, Nell Zink writes fantastic emails. The story of how she brazenly initiated a correspondence with Jonathan Franzen, convincing him over time to act as her agent and promoter, is now a ...

Franzen Makes Nice

Reading Jonathan Franzen’s fifth novel, Purity, in a state at once sympathetic and skeptical, I kept thinking of George Kaplan. In Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 film North by Northwest, a ring of foreign ...

Knausgaard’s Novel Degree Zero

In the early autumn of 1974 three divers working off the coast of Tromøya Island in southern Norway located the remains of an 18th-century Danish wreck. The ship they found, the Fredensborg, sank in ...

Story Time

For a few weeks at the start of 2013, George Saunders was the gently puzzled face of American letters. You could see him being interviewed by Stephen Colbert, Charlie Rose, or George Stephanopoulos ...