Tag: Literature

The Book Is a Time Machine

When we are not actually holding them, books are things over which we like to wring our hands. They stand, in their very solidity, for what might be precarious ...

Unsex the Lab

Kit Owens, the protagonist of Megan Abbott’s Give Me Your Hand, is a postdoc in the research lab of academic rock star Dr. Lena Severin; Severin has just received a prestigious research grant when Kit’s ...

Birth of a Mother

What exactly is motherhood? I’ve been mulling it over the past few months, during which time I again experienced pregnancy and childbirth, and again dealt with the confusion and sleep deprivation ...

Are Sharp Women Enough?

Twitter was a medium made for Dorothy Parker—alas, a century too late. Her famous poem “Resumé” is 141 characters. Her breakout feature in Vanity Fair, a series of Hate Songs, begs for a hashtag ...

Adoption Anxieties

Given the overall paucity of novels about interracial adoption, it is striking that no fewer than three were published in 2017. In general, reviewers warmly received Shanthi Sekaran’s Lucky Boy, Lisa ...

In Memoriam: Philip Roth

The obituaries are striving to strike the properly respectful note, but with Philip Roth that was always going to be a challenge. The New York Times highlights Roth’s interest in masturbation, and ...

Purgatory Is for Real

If heaven, as the Talking Heads lyric puts it, is a place where nothing ever happens, it has nevertheless powered numerous books up American best-seller lists. In the past decade, several titles have ...

Public Picks 2018

Each year around this time we send our readers into summer with a thoughtfully curated list of the titles that dazzled, challenged, and inspired us most over the past 12 months. For this, the sixth ...

Ondaatje’s Long War

In a scathing review of The English Patient, Hilary Mantel called Michael Ondaatje’s most feted work “uneven, unresolved, unsatisfactory.” Her criticism has since become a regular complaint about the ...

Japan’s Isolation 2.0

The taxi driver who took me from Tokyo train station to my hotel had turned his cell phone sideways, like a television, and propped it up on the dashboard of his car. He was watching a historical ...