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Reviews

New Books

Mountains in the Snow, by Erich Heckel © akg-images/Artists Rights Society, New York City Philippe Sands’s remarkable 2016 book, East West Street: On the Origins of “Genocide” and “Crimes Against…

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Parable of the Butler

A science-fiction pioneer finds posthumous fame

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The Artist Disappears

Helen Frankenthaler’s earthbound genius

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New Books

Lovers and Time, by Alex Kanevsky © The artist. Courtesy Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco Danielle McLaughlin’s debut novel, The Art of Falling (Random House, $28), recounts a tumultuous season…

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Slow Burn

The languid pleasures of Nuri Bilge Ceylan

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Reality Under My Skin

Tove Ditlevsen’s relentless clarity

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New Books

“Modena, 1973,” by Luigi Ghirri, from The Map and the Territory, which was published in 2018 by MACK © The artist. Courtesy MACK It has been oddly comforting these past…

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New Books

Blick auf den Tiergarten mit weißen Kugeln (Parkbild), by Max Beckmann © akg-images When we try to get at a work of art, words of criticism fail worse than anything—they…

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Because God Did Not Relax

The difficult pleasures of William Gaddis

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A Swing and Amis

On the perils of novelizing one’s life

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New Books

A self-portrait by Francisco Goya, 1810 © akg-images/Nimatallah The best-known works of the great Spanish artist Francisco Goya do not give the impression of having been created by a particularly…

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The Well-Tempered Synthesizer

Wendy Carlos’s music of the spheres

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Le Mot Juste

The soothing clarity of Shirley Hazzard

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New Books

Elegy IV (detail), from the series Arctic Elegy, by DM Witman © The artist. Courtesy Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn, New York “Don’t say that he’s hypocritical / Say rather that he’s apolitical,” Tom…

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Cage of Gold

The corrupt business of deportation

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New Books

If it weren’t for the black death, the fourteenth-century merchant Francesco di Marco Datini might have left no trace in history. A workaholic Tuscan with offices from Bruges to Barcelona,…

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Desert Blues

Charles Bowden’s borderlands

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New Books

Spreading Fires During the Great Kanto Earthquake, a newspaper illustration of the 1855 earthquake in Edo, Japan. Courtesy Special Collections, Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library A metropolis can transform, and even…

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Teutomania

Tracing the origins of the German nation

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New Books

A Cotton Office in New Orleans, by Edgar Degas. Courtesy Musée des Beaux-Arts, Pau, France In 1873, while visiting family in America, Edgar Degas painted a scene from his uncle’s…

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Splinters and Mosaics

On women’s history and group biography

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Always Leave Them Wanting Less

How not to write about Andy Warhol

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New Books

Discussed in this essay: Curzio Malaparte’s Diary of a Foreigner in Paris; Jazmina Barrera’s On Lighthouses; Elizabeth DiSavino’s Katherine Jackson French: Kentucky’s Forgotten Ballad Collector; Percival Everett’s Telephone over chess.…

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March 2021