How, Murakami asks, can community after the earthquake be structured around self-reflection rather than cruelty?
B-Sides: Reading, Race, and “Robert’s Rules of Order”
The famous guidebook of rules, motions, and meetings has a darker history than you might think.
B-Sides: Juan José Saer’s “The Investigation”
How to catch a killer who only exists in a parallel world?
B-Sides: J. G. Farrell’s “Troubles”
His characters—in 1919 Ireland, 1857 India, and 1940 Singapore—intuit that the world is about to collapse. But they can do nothing to save it.
B-Sides: Agatha Christie’s “At Bertram’s Hotel”
Agatha Christie’s “At Bertram’s Hotel” allows us to have our nostalgic cake and read it too.
B-Sides: Jesmyn Ward’s “Where the Line Bleeds”
Novelist Jesmyn Ward is known for historical grandiosity, but her long-overlooked book “Sing, Unburied, Sing” turns away from realism into the realm of generic strangeness.
B-Sides: Lucy R. Lippard’s “I See/You Mean”
“Few libraries list it among their holdings, and sometimes I have wondered if the book in my possession actually exists.”
B-Sides: John Keene’s “Annotations”
Annotations isn’t a book you read for the plot. It’s more of a “Notes toward...” that remains just that: always towards, never quite arriving.
B-Sides: Bessie Head’s “The Collector of Treasures”
South African literature has long struggled to become drought-resistant: its plotlines, and even its paper production, presuppose abundant water.
B-Sides: Geoff Park’s “Nga Uruora: The Groves of Life”
Environmental wisdom can arise from being a better reader.
B-Sides: Virginia Woolf’s “Flush”
Woolf’s spin on the genre of children’s fiction about animals is valuable because of its comedy, not despite it.
B-Sides: Jessica Anderson’s “The Impersonators”
A 1980 novel brilliantly anatomizes the Australian settler-colonial roots of the late 20th century’s crass materialist complacency.
B-Sides: Latife Tekin’s “Berji Kristin”
As in mythology, the characters in a 1984 Turkish novel are acted upon by forces distant and uncaring.
B-Sides: Carmen Laforet’s “Nada”
When freedom will not arrive to us, can we get nearer to it?
B-Sides: Mary Butts’s “Armed with Madness”
The author’s pagan obsessions, like her chatty metacritiques of other modernist writers, set her apart from her contemporaries.
B-Sides: Brecht Evens’s “The Making Of”
How could any Belgian graphic novel escape Tintin’s shadow? Enter Brecht Evens’s The Making Of.
B-Sides: Louis Bromfield’s “Pleasant Valley”
“What I wanted was a piece of land which I could love passionately, which I could spend the rest of my life in cultivating.”
B-Sides: Mary Borden’s “The Forbidden Zone”
Mary Borden’s taut masterpiece has long been overshadowed by the other Great War books of 1928–29 (All Quiet on the Western Front, A Farewell to Arms ...
B-Sides: Gene Stratton-Porter’s “A Girl of the Limberlost”
All but forgotten today, Gene Stratton-Porter was—in the early 20th century ...
B-Sides: Natalia Ginzburg’s “The Dry Heart”
When should a woman kill her husband? I have turned this question over and over ...