"I really liked Cardi B’s 'WAP.' It reminded me of one of the earliest poems written in history."
A Collapse No One Story Can Tell
Ten years since the 2011 Syrian uprising, there has been a veritable literary boom of fiction writing from Syria. What does it reveal?
What Will Be Impossible?
Why excavate these Reformation characters—the preacher and the werewolf—now? What do they have to teach us?
The Direction of Beginning
These poems undo the cultural invisibility of America’s Native Nations. They also, with unique abundance, secure the value of poetry itself.
Public Picks 2021
Each May we send our readers into summer with a curated list of the titles that dazzled, challenged, and inspired us most over the past year (or so).
Past Dictators Never Die
What happens when a regime founded upon exclusion, racism, nationalism, and an authoritarian leader ends? In Spain, such a regime never really ended.
How to Step Out of Comfort Zones
Caribbean authors—and the “disorderly” women of whom they write—can reveal how important it is to seek out one’s true self.
Dirty Essays, Clean Essays
Recently translated essay collections underscore how sanitized ethical language has become in the last 60 to 70 years.
Translating Italy, Translating Blackness
For two Black womxn translators, bringing Afro-Italian stories into English is an act of radical self-love and resistance.
Isolation and the Incomplete
Assemblage in search of insight is the guiding ethos at the heart of two dynamic recently published books by Mexican authors.
Surviving Hard Times with al-Hariri
Forget traditional “heroes.” The protagonists of some centuries-old stories are social climbers and tricksters, even cheats and cowards.
Ferrante Breaks the Frame
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.
“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.”
B-Sides: Carmen Laforet’s “Nada”
When freedom will not arrive to us, can we get nearer to it?
It’s Your Turn to (Re)Write the Story
How can experimental fiction help to democratize storytelling?
Can a Novel Be Silent?
John Cage's concerts taught us to hear silence. Can novels do the same?
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.
The “Decameron”; or, How to Laugh through a Pandemic
Whereas the Black Death was reason to cultivate individualism, our own pandemic leads to an opposite conclusion: our need to help one another.
Whose Spanish, Anyway?
Policing the borders of the Spanish language was a tool of religious and racial discrimination. Yet Spanish is not inherently imperial.
Books and Abandonment
Fernanda Melchor’s Hurricane Season makes other authors’ moral delicacy look like condescension.