Tag: Fiction

Cursed Masculinity

Masculinity is a curse. This, at least, is the driving conceit behind Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Ugandan epic, Kintu, published in Kenya by the Kwani Trust in 2014, and in the US by Transit Books ...

Empathy Is Not Enough

Almost 30 years ago, education researcher and children’s literature scholar Rudine Sims Bishop introduced an analogy that has been widely embraced by the librarians, teachers, artists, and scholars ...

Wild States of Being

A lacquered blue cube and a cat named Labes: these nonhuman characters shed unforgiving light on human frailty in the wrenching new novel by Italian writer Domenico Starnone, Ties, scrupulously ...

Future Shocks

“The future’s not what it used to be,” sings Mickey Newbury in his 1971 hit of the same name. His song frames this witticism in romantically personal terms, but the insight has broad applicability ...

American Storyteller

What makes American life meaningful? Apple products? Cat videos? Torrential pornography? The prospect of a lavish retirement? The senior prom? Forestalling your plunge into poverty? Prescription ...

Last Comic Standing

Why is a good novel like a joke? Before you think too hard, relax: there’s no single punch line here. I’m simply drawing attention to what might be a fruitful comparison. Like a joke, a good novel ...

Public Picks 2017

Each year around this time we try to send our readers into summer with a thoughtfully curated list of the books that wowed, charmed, and provoked us most over the past 12 months. For this, the fifth ...

Procedural Racism

Every detective story relays at least two narratives: the story of the crime and the story of the investigation. In a police procedural, the story of the investigation has police officers discover ...

Audio Companions

Some years back, the cultural critic Stephen Metcalf noted, in a smart review of a new essay collection by David Sedaris, that we turn to radio for companionship. Companionship might appear to be ...

Science and the Wolf

Once upon a time there was Science. Pure of heart, untainted by the kingdom’s societal structures or geopolitical context, Science was simply Science: an apolitical quest for objective truth and beauty. ...