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Reviews

New Books

Maurice Sendak once said that the subject of all his work was the “extraordinary heroism of children in the face of . . . a mostly indifferent adult world.” Nowhere…

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New Books

An acquaintance once asked Mary Gaitskill and her then husband about their house, which sat at the edge of a college campus, surrounded by woods. I said it was nice…

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Behind the Fig Leaf

Mary McCarthy’s sexual revolution

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Door to Door

Mohsin Hamid’s displaced persons

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New Books

Conversion tales are perennially popular, but there is less of an audience for stories about what comes after — the daily struggle to live out your faith when the first…

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Good Plain English

The problem with writing manuals

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No Fool

Elif Batuman takes on the M.F.A.

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New Books

George Saunders is the most humane American writer working today. He need not ask, as Sheila Heti did in the title of her novel, how a person should be. He…

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Life Choices

Paul Auster’s multitudes

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New Books

Until the U.S. government got wind of it, the sharpest critic of the Mormon practice of polygamy was Joseph Smith’s legal wife, Emma. But as Laurel Thatcher Ulrich explains in…

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Wild Things

The allure of animal nature

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In The Shade

Zadie Smith and the limits of being oneself

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New Books

“I understand the large hearts of heroes,” wrote an ecstatic Walt Whitman in “Song of Myself”: The courage of present times and all times, How the skipper saw the crowded…

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Likely Story

The inventions of Javier Marías

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Destruction Myth

The rise and fall of the Romanovs

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New Books

Hell hath no fury like a Hitchcock scorned. After the fat man with the famous profile signed Tippi Hedren to a seven-year contract and put her through what was then…

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Flesh and Blood

The Saga of Halldór Laxness

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Are You Kidding?

The inscrutable sincerity of Nell Zink

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Supping on Horrors

Thomas De Quincey’s bad habits

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New Books

A motley crew steers Anne Carson’s FLOAT (Knopf, $30). There’s Edmund Husserl, Jean-Luc Godard, Joan of Arc, Pablo Picasso, mad Hölderlin, Hegel, a chorus of Gertrude Steins, and Carson’s noble,…

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The Man Who Loved Metaphors

Jonathan Safran Foer’s authorial intrusions

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Tennis Lessons

The meaning of the game

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In Short

Thirty-six ways of looking at the aphorism

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New Books

It doesn’t matter that Ursula K. Le Guin has been winning awards for writing about aliens, wizards, and imaginary worlds since the 1960s — the label “science fiction” gives her…

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New Books

Across the seven volumes of the Recherche, Proust mentions only one living artist by name — the fashion designer Mariano Fortuny. “Is it their historical character, or is it rather…

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Goodbye to All What?

The return of the Brat Pack

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| View All Issues |

May 2017