By making familiar objects strange, two new books of poetry reveal the limits of overly simple critique.
A child’s novel can be funny by revealing how much a child does know, after all.
A defaced family photograph—with an ancestor cut out—reveals to Ferrante’s new protagonist how women are erased by the words and deeds of men.
What can the history of the temp-work industry teach us about the precarity of modern working life?
The late literary scholar hoped the writings of older feminists in the academy would help younger women “name their anger and find companionship in enduring it.”
Whatever things the humanities do well, it is beginning to look as if promoting themselves is not among them.
Rather than try to kill his literary parents, Eugenides embraces as many of them as possible.
“There’s a passage early on in Book 2 that’s so smug, so macho (in a literary way), that’s so—ugh! I can’t explain it.”
When freedom will not arrive to us, can we get nearer to it?
When the Trump presidency ends, and the toll of years of toxicity and mismanagement becomes clear, we are going to need some guidance.
The most interesting science fiction is not about the future at all but about the present.
Digitizing works of fiction by Black writers catalyzes history, so that it can build new futures.
John Cage's concerts taught us to hear silence. Can novels do the same?
The author’s pagan obsessions, like her chatty metacritiques of other modernist writers, set her apart from her contemporaries.
#MeToo has revived an enduring feminist question: What do women want, and how can they get it?
Are our phones the bane of critical thought? Or might they be our latest texts to read and interpret—objects worthy of inquiry and analysis?
Garth Greenwell challenges readers to see how sex—especially for queer people—might be an act of difficult but healing care.
Whereas the Black Death was reason to cultivate individualism, our own pandemic leads to an opposite conclusion: our need to help one another.
Baseball is ideal for explaining American economic precarity: the players try desperately to get home safe, but almost always fail to do so.
Each year around this time we send our readers into summer with a thoughtfully curated list of the titles appearing over the past 12 months that dazzled, moved, and challenged us most.