How should readers and scholars look on the tangible traces writers leave behind?
Forget traditional “heroes.” The protagonists of some centuries-old stories are social climbers and tricksters, even cheats and cowards.
I am tired of catalogues and catalogue poems, and of surveys and surveillance—though I appreciate a bird’s-eye view of the terrain as well as anyone.
If Cloud Atlas is any guide, one of the best ways to sound like a bygone novelist is to make your narrator sound like a racist.
Why did Americans start distrusting small towns? The answer is one book, in which a woman moves from the city—and loses her freedom.
“We're in a science fiction novel now that we are all co-writing together.”
By making familiar objects strange, two new books of poetry reveal the limits of overly simple critique.
A child’s novel can be funny by revealing how much a child does know, after all.
A defaced family photograph—with an ancestor cut out—reveals to Ferrante’s new protagonist how women are erased by the words and deeds of men.
What can the history of the temp-work industry teach us about the precarity of modern working life?
The late literary scholar hoped the writings of older feminists in the academy would help younger women “name their anger and find companionship in enduring it.”
Whatever things the humanities do well, it is beginning to look as if promoting themselves is not among them.
Rather than try to kill his literary parents, Eugenides embraces as many of them as possible.
“There’s a passage early on in Book 2 that’s so smug, so macho (in a literary way), that’s so—ugh! I can’t explain it.”
When freedom will not arrive to us, can we get nearer to it?
When the Trump presidency ends, and the toll of years of toxicity and mismanagement becomes clear, we are going to need some guidance.
The most interesting science fiction is not about the future at all but about the present.
Digitizing works of fiction by Black writers catalyzes history, so that it can build new futures.
John Cage's concerts taught us to hear silence. Can novels do the same?
The author’s pagan obsessions, like her chatty metacritiques of other modernist writers, set her apart from her contemporaries.