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Timeless stories from our 171-year archive handpicked to speak to the news of the day.
Jon McGregor’s Antarctic experiment
Atticus Lish’s novel of illness, masculinity, and murder
Simone de Beauvoir, 1952 © Gisèle Freund/Photo Researchers History/Getty Images Simone de Beauvoir, author of The Second Sex (1949), in which she famously asserts that “one is not born, but…
Jon Fosse makes the novel new
On Roger Deakin’s indelible swims
“Boy with June Bug, Fort Scott, Kansas, 1963,” by Gordon Parks © The Gordon Parks Foundation In the season of picnics, hikes, and naps in the shade, Lucy Jones’s impassioned…
“Woman and Lilies,” by Jo Ann Callis © The artist. Courtesy ROSEGALLERY, Santa Monica, California In literature and film, something happens when women hit forty, or nowadays perhaps forty-five: the…
On Jon Meacham
Clockwise from top left: “Narrative of Sojourner Truth (title page), 1850, Rubenstein Library, Duke University”; “Watch, Larkin Franklin Sr., Eatonville Historic Preservation”; “The Works of Robert Burns, First Book Purchased…
A poet’s battle against Russian nationalism
On a forgotten genius of American music
Plane Grid, by Kim Frohsin © The artist. Courtesy Andra Norris Gallery, Burlingame, California “I am someone who can live (within reason) anywhere,” writes Aminatta Forna in her new book…
The new internet novels
On the secret of Faulkner's literary form
“Asthand,” by Nina Röder, from Bath in Brilliant Green, which was published in 2018 by Kehrer Verlag © The artist. Courtesy Galerie Burster, Berlin A surprising number of novelists are…
The history of the black church
Allan Gurganus’s Southern utopias
Naître à soi, by Elladj Lincy Deloumeaux © The artist. Courtesy Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Paris In The Year of Living Dangerously, the actress Linda Hunt puts on an unforgettable performance…
Philip Roth reviews his own biographer
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…
A science-fiction pioneer finds posthumous fame
Helen Frankenthaler’s earthbound genius
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…
The languid pleasures of Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Tove Ditlevsen’s relentless clarity
“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…
The story of character
On Alfred Hayes
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…
The difficult pleasures of William Gaddis