Reprints

Kafka Transformed

Franz Kafka’s Gregor Samsa has undergone numerous metamorphoses in English: into “a gigantic insect,” “a monstrous vermin,” “a monstrous cockroach,” “some sort of monstrous insect,” and “a monstrous bug” ...

On Christopher Street Pier

This month, Public Books mourns the loss of the writer, teacher, and editor Ellis Avery to leiomyosarcoma, a rare uterine cancer. Ellis’s essay about a beloved ...

Our Drugs, Ourselves

Is the term “drugs” still meaningful? Many of us would confess to being at least mildly dependent on some substance, be it single-origin coffee or Sancerre, antidepressants or anti-inflammatories ...

Michelle Obama’s Embrace

I told Michelle Obama that I admired Becoming for its courage, honesty, risk taking, and optimism. But my admiration went further, because in her story I had seen myself, and not just in the book’s main character ...

Knausgaard’s Ruthless Freedom

So here it is at last: the end of Knausgaard’s struggle. It is 1,160 pages long, divided into three parts. Part 2 consists of a long essay on Hitler. Both ...

Our Mothers, Ourselves

I intended to begin with a personal admission. “I didn’t like being pregnant,” I was going to write, before describing the bodily discomforts (hypersalivation!) and psychic stresses (due date during ...