Tag: Fiction

John Kennedy Toole @50

Thelma Toole, the mother of the novelist John Kennedy Toole—author of the extraordinary almost-unpublished novel A Confederacy of Dunces—delivered one of the most irresponsible accusations in ...

Translation’s Burden

A book is a strange vessel of expectation. A published book imagines a reader, for a published book without a reader is a book that loses someone’s money. And a book about translation seems to have ...

A Fairy’s Tale

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl tells a series of stories that we already know, but it achieves its familiar ends through decidedly unfamiliar means. Andrea Lawlor’s first novel presents us with ...

The Rubble of Creation

This spring, I was enchanted by the story of mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck, awarded the Norwegian Abel Prize in 2019 for her work on bubbles, who at 76 still relishes the “technical obstacle,” “secrets,” and “mystery” of ...

When Dogs Bite

“I could tell you that I was beating the dog because I was beaten, that I was six and stupid and knew no better,” Marwand recounts to his cousin Zia in eastern Afghanistan. “But here is the other ...

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” ...

Public Picks 2019

Each year around this time we send our readers into summer with a curated list of the titles that dazzled, challenged, and inspired us most over the past year. For this, the seventh-annual edition of ...

Surrogacy Stories

Midway through Mike Birbiglia’s latest one-man show, The New One, the ceiling above the stage opens and various baby paraphernalia cascade onto the stage floor. An oversized stuffed bear, a breast ...

Baldwin’s Children

James Baldwin’s recently reissued picture book, Little Man, Little Man, positions itself within a larger textual world. In this sweet and lively story of four-year-old TJ and his friends on a summer ...

Power, Poison, Pain, and Joy

Sitting atop a police car beneath an oversized American flag, Kendrick Lamar opened the 2015 BET awards with his single “Alright.” “We hate the po-po ...