Francine Prose

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Reviews — From the April 2019 issue

Down and Out in the Peloponnesus

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Christos Ikonomou’s modern tragedies

Reviews — From the April 2017 issue

Door to Door

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Mohsin Hamid’s displaced persons

Context — July 31, 2015, 1:07 pm

I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read

How American high school students learn to loathe literature

Reviews — From the July 2014 issue

Master of the Mundane

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Karl Ove Knausgaard’s encyclopedic novels

Readings — From the June 2014 issue

The Raw and the Cooked

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Reviews — From the May 2011 issue

Lonely island

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Mike Leigh’s intimate cinema

Reviews — From the January 2010 issue

You Got Eyes

Robert Frank imagines America

Reviews — From the May 2009 issue

Love for Sale

Appraising the relics of a relationship

Reviews — From the December 2008 issue

More is More

Roberto Bolaño???s magnum opus

Reviews — From the September 2008 issue

Books and Circuses

The politics of literary scapegoating

Reviews — From the April 2007 issue

Berlin stories

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The caustic energy of Weimar art

Reviews — From the June 2006 issue

A culture of concealment

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The artful warnings of Nadezhda Mandelstam

Reviews — From the June 2004 issue

Invitation to a crucifixion

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Fundamentalism goes to Hollywood

Article — From the March 2004 issue

Voting democracy off the island

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Reality TV and the Republican ethos

Reviews — From the November 2003 issue

Revisiting the icons

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The intimate photography of Diane Arbus

Reviews — From the April 2003 issue

Unknown master

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The fictions of Mavis Gallant

Reviews — From the December 2002 issue

Comfort cult

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On the honest unloveliness of William Trevor’s world

Reviews — From the March 2002 issue

The coldest eye

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Acting badly among the Arabs

Reviews — From the November 2001 issue

The bones of Muzhiks

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Isaac Babel gets lost in translation

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On February 5, 2019, the president of the United States (a certain Donald Trump) in his State of the Union speech warned of “migrant caravans and accused Mexican cities of busing migrants to the border ‘to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection.’ ”? Wishing to see the border for myself, I decided to visit Arizona, where my ignorance of local conditions might save me from prejudgment.

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After years of post-Brexit uncertainty, Scotland’s independence movement has become resurgent

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On a November Saturday in 1990, Pam went over to Joe’s place to listen to records. It was raining in sheets that whipped around the corners of buildings and blowing so hard that women in heels were taking men’s arms to cross the street. Cars were plowing bow waves through puddles of scum.

As Joe was letting Pam into the apartment, a man emerged from the bedroom with a square sheet of black plastic in his hand and said, “Hey, man, you have the Sassy Sonic Youth flexi!”

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Discussed in this essay:

Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark, by Cecelia Watson. Ecco. 224 pages. $19.99.

Four Men Shaking: Searching for Sanity with Samuel Beckett, Norman Mailer, and My Perfect Zen Teacher, by Lawrence Shainberg. Shambhala. 144 pages. $16.95.

Japanese Tales of Lafcadio Hearn, edited by Andrei Codrescu. Princeton University Press. 224 pages. $22.95.

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The Trials of Vasily Grossman·

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Discussed in this essay:

Stalingrad, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler. New York Review Books. 1,088 pages. $27.95.

Vasily Grossman and the Soviet Century, by Alexandra Popoff. Yale University Press. 424 pages. $32.50.

Life and Fate, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler. New York Review Books. 904 pages. $24.95.

An Armenian Sketchbook, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler. New York Review Books. 160 pages. $14.95.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

A swarm of ladybugs in California was so large that it appeared on the National Weather Service’s radar.

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