Rio, Capital of Disaster Capitalism

The Olympic rings loom large over Rio de Janeiro. Seven years after the city won its bid to host the games, the impending two-week extravaganza has swept changes across the Marvelous City, as Rio is ...

The Bonds of the Sea

What do war journalism and surfing have in common? On the face of it, not much: surfing is a frivolous pastime and war reporting a humanitarian endeavor to shine a light on violent conflict in ways ...

Caravaggio’s Hair

Human hair, as Álvaro Enrigue points out in Sudden Death, is the only part of the human body that does not rot. It accordingly plays a starring role in the novel, which is as interested in the ...

Master of the Flying Nothing

This is the latest installment of El Mirador, an ongoing series curated by Francisco Cantú. Spanish for “the lookout point,” El Mirador collects original nonfiction, translation, and visual art on ...

Enrigue’s Backspin

Four-fifths of the way through Álvaro Enrigue’s Muerte súbita (Sudden Death), the narrator admits that he doesn’t know what the book is about. It’s not about the birth of tennis as a popular sport ...

Hopelessly Devoted: Why We Watch Sports

My father called me the other day to ask if I was in a good mood. The Mets were in first place, having triumphed in their season opener. These days Mets fan cherish even the briefest of moments on ...

Another Fistfight in Heaven

By the second page of Sherman Alexie’s newest collection of short stories, Blasphemy, it’s pretty clear he isn’t going to pull any punches. As the narrator of “Cry Cry Cry” observes with reference to ...