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Six Questions

Discussing On Immunity: An Inoculation with Eula Biss

Eula Biss discusses vaccinations, motherhood, and metaphors

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Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton on Women in Clothes

Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton discuss how the clothes we wear shape our lives

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William Deresiewicz on Excellent Sheep

William Deresiewicz discusses the miseducation of the American elite

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Astra Taylor on The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age

Astra Taylor discusses the potential and peril of the Internet as a tool for cultural democracy

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Christopher Beha on Arts and Entertainments

Christopher Beha discusses sex tapes as literary vehicle, the celebrity impulse, and the problematic absence of religion in American literature

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Jeff Sharlet on Radiant Truths

Jeff Sharlet on his collection of essential dispatches, reports, confessions, and other essays on American belief

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Rivka Galchen on American Innovations: Stories

Rivka Galchen © Sandy Tait The characters in Rivka Galchen’s new collection, American Innovations, are as surprised and confused by time travel, mysterious growths, and encounters with the dead as they…

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Uncovering the Cover Ups: Death Camp in Delta

Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp

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Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare

Gareth Porter on the true history of Iran’s nuclear program

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The Empathy Exams: Essays

Leslie Jamison on empathy in craft and in life

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The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew

Alan Lightman on the theory of everything, technology as mediator of human experience, and empathizing with the religious impulse

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Demon Camp: A Soldier’s Exorcism

Jennifer Percy on lyricism in nonfiction, the demons of American veterans, and circumventing expected narratives of PTSD

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At Night We Walk in Circles

Daniel Alarcón on the actor as character, foreshadowing as bravado, and the visceral nature of curiosity

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Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II

Wil S. Hylton on grief, narrative, and the difficulty of recovering a sunken past

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The Disaster Artist

Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell on life inside “The Room,” the greatest bad movie ever made

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A Beautiful Truth

Colin McAdam on ape life, loneliness, and the purpose of language

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The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem

Jeremy Dauber on the remarkable life and afterlife of the man who created Tevye the Dairyman

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The Pure Gold Baby

Dame Margaret Drabble on the essayistic voice in fiction and North London anthropology

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High Rise Stories

Audrey Petty on the history of Chicago public housing, the intimacy of oral histories, and reconstructing demolished communities

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The Once and Future World: Nature As it Was, As it Is, As it Could Be

J. B. MacKinnon on human efforts to engineer nature, and whether we can restore what we've lost

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The Faraway Nearby and Unfathomable City

Rebecca Solnit on how personal stories can fail to satisfy, the architectural space of the book, and the pleasures with which the landscapes of our lives are salted

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Byzantium: Stories

Ben Stroud on getting to know a character, the balance between research and imagination, and the writer’s desire for recognition

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A Marker to Measure Drift

Alexander Maksik on Charles Taylor’s Liberia, the oldest story in the world, and the trouble with elegant variation

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The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese

Mike Paterniti on the power of cheese, the pleasures of digression, and the War of the Roses method of book writing

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Savage Coast

Rowena Kennedy-Epstein on Muriel Rukeyser’s political and emotional vision

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The World Is a Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan Village

Anna Badkhen on life in rural Afghanistan and the friction between violence and beauty

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Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere

Lucas Mann on hope and change in a minor-league-baseball city

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A History of Future Cities

Daniel Brook on the lessons of four great Eastern cities that sought to imitate the West

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