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Reviews

New Books

The Ottoman army capturing Belgrade, from a sixteenth-century manuscript © Gianni Dagli Orti/Shutterstock The finest historical fiction—Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy, for example—renders the strange grippingly familiar; so too do…

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Contest or Conquest?

A provocative history of Indigenous America

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New Books

The Birth of Venus, by Sandro Botticelli. Courtesy the Uffizi Gallery, Florence When telling a story, history’s imperfect record sometimes insists upon inconvenient gaps. This is the case with Botticelli’s…

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Against Aboutness

On Elizabeth McCracken’s irreducible fiction

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A Formal Feeling

Inside the world of Louise Bourgeois

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An Hallucinated Man

The battles over T. S. Eliot’s legacy

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New Books

Photograph of Elias Canetti, 1983, by Marie-Louise von Motesiczky © Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust. Courtesy Tate Archive In 1980, the year before Elias Canetti won the Nobel Prize in…

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New Books

VN-K-001 (detail), by Lyndon Barrois Jr. Courtesy the artist Few writers can inhabit multiple characters with equal intensity and vivacity, and most who can are, of course, playwrights or screenwriters.…

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The Enemy of Promise

What time did to Christopher Hitchens

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New Books

“Chalk Drawings,” by Aziz Hazara © The artist. Courtesy Experimenter, Kolkata, India With David Unger’s brilliant translation of Mr. President (Penguin Classics, $17.99), by the Guatemalan Nobel Prize–winner Miguel Asturias, readers…

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When the Monsoon Winds Turned

The lost worlds of Abdulrazak Gurnah

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Dutch Master

On Willem Frederik Hermans

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The Secret History

Hernan Diaz dismantles the American dream

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New Books

“Domestic Pig—Sus scrofa domestica,” by Henry Horenstein, from the series Animalia © The artist Gustave Flaubert famously wanted to write “a book about nothing,” sustained only by “the internal force…

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New Books

“Representation #16?18 (matchbook),” by Cynthia Greig © The artist. Courtesy Clark Gallery, Lincoln, Massachusetts Readers of Elif Batuman’s delightful first novel, The Idiot, will need no introduction to its sequel,…

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The Love Feast

Seeing Auden in a new light

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New Books

“Gary Indiana Veiled,” 1981, by Peter Hujar © 2022 The Peter Hujar Archive/Artists Rights Society, New York City Few writers are as keenly alive to absurdity or write with as…

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Future Nostalgia

Jennifer Egan’s old-world internet novel

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Who Killed Louis Le Prince?

On the forgotten father of film

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New Books

Self-portrait with Scorpion, by Leonor Fini, from Leonor Fini: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, which was published last year by Scheidegger & Spiess © Leonor Fini Estate, Paris/Artists Rights…

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Peculiar Things, Yet Intimately Familiar

The elusive fiction of Claire-Louise Bennett

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New Books

Schiller’s Garden House, Jena, by Wilhelm von Lindenschmit the Younger © akg-images By the year 1800, the French Revolution was over, the ancien régime a thing of the past, the…

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National Treasure

The ecstatic cult of Nicolas Cage

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The Mosaicist

On Evan S. Connell

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