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Timeless stories from our 170-year archive handpicked to speak to the news of the day.
The life of Anthony Powell
Can the Qur’an be read as literature?
Knausgaard’s struggle comes to an end
A poignant, profane novel of addiction
Discussed in this essay: Of Love & War, by Lynsey Addario. Penguin Press. 272 pages. $40. Heavy, by Kiese Laymon. Scribner. 256 pages. $26. The Letters of Sylvia Plath. Harper. 1088 pages. $45.…
Discussed in this essay: Algiers, Third World Capital: Freedom Fighters, Revolutionaries, Black Panthers by Elaine Mokhtefi. Verso. 256 pages. $24.95. He Held Radical Light: The Art of Faith, the Faith…
Deborah Eisenberg’s radically alien fiction
The elusive meaning of privacy in America
Nick Drnaso’s hypnotically grim graphic novels
Why the criminal justice system is ill-equipped to prosecute rape charges
Discussed in this essay: Notes from the Fog by Ben Marcus. Knopf. 288 pages. $26.95. A Girl’s Guide to Missiles: Growing up in America’s Secret Desert by Karen Piper. 336 pages. Viking. $27.…
Sleep gets a bad rap in the United States. Despite the threats and cajolings of the CDC, which has deemed chronic sleeplessness a serious danger to the nation’s health, and…
James Wood’s return to fiction
Deborah Levy’s foremothers and heiresses
The strangest part of acquiring my green card was the medical exam, which culminated in an inspection of my breasts and “external genitalia.” Underwear lowered to my knees, I stood…
The uses and abuses of psychedelics
Rachel Cusk’s unforgiving eye
It’s hard for bookish people not to romanticize the act of reading—as a spur to imagination and compassion for others or just an escape from whatever real-life trap you may…
Helen DeWitt’s uncompromising fictions
The bowdlerization of Jean Rhys
The impossible work of motherhood
The year 2017 was, I presume, an awkward, anxious moment to be named poet laureate of the United States. What the writer owes the collective and where she fits within…
Alan Hollinghurst’s break with tradition
The troubling response to a memoir of incest
Does fiction matter in a post-fact age?
The surprising legacy of a ninety-year-old peace pact
My first and still most vivid memory of a Woody Allen movie is of the scene in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)…
The Armies of the Night fifty years on
Three novels of Egypt’s repressive present
When you consider the savagery of your run-of-the-mill fairy tale, our use of the term to connote “romance” or “idealization” smacks of nothing more than romance and idealization — a…