Pamela Adlon reveals the mundane project of motherhood to be vast, fluid, and fascinating in its own right.
Trapped Inside with Bo Burnham
Autofiction like Burnham’s—or Wallace’s, or Lerner’s—show white men using irony, self-deprecation, and vulnerability. Should we listen?
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.
Buster Keaton Falls Up
Comedy demands a fall guy—someone upon whom the absurdity crashes and yet who emerges unscathed. And in comedy, Buster Keaton remains unrivaled.
What “PEN15” Has Joined Let No Man Tear Asunder
While today’s female-friendship narratives celebrate the central bond, they are mainly about the art of breaking up.
Stephen McCauley on What Makes a Comic Novel
Stephen McCauley is the author of a bevy—a raft, even—of beloved comic novels. Recent ones include My Ex-Life, Alternatives to Sex, and ...
Virtual Roundtable on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”
As its name suggests, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a show about inappropriate attachments. The musical dramedy, which aired on the CW for four seasons until finale-ing this ...
On Our Nightstands: July 2018
At Public Books, our editorial staff and contributors are hard at work to provide readers with thought-provoking articles. But when the workday is done, what is ...
“Master of None” and Everyone
Both for its first season and its new, more ingenious, more graceful second season, Master of None has become one of the most lauded shows in our era of ...
Last Comic Standing
Why is a good novel like a joke? Before you think too hard, relax: there’s no single punch line here. I’m simply drawing attention to what might be a fruitful comparison. Like a joke, a good novel ...