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Timeless stories from our 171-year archive handpicked to speak to the news of the day.
Uncovering my FBI file
By Jonathan Franzen, from a footnote to his translation of “Nestroy and Posterity,” a 1912 essay by the Austrian satirist, playwright, poet, aphorist, and critic Karl Kraus (1874–1936). In the…
By Vaishali Raode, from Mi Hijra, Mi Lakshmi (“I Am a Hijra, I Am Lakshmi”), an account of the life of Lakshmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender-rights activist in the Indian…
The memoir is a tempting but treacherous form. As the English novelist Rachel Cusk writes in Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $20), “Unclothed, truth can be…
How leprosy teaches empathy
By Liao Yiwu, from For a Song and a Hundred Songs, out next month from New Harvest. Liao, who was born in China in 1958, spent four years in prison…
In 1929, Robert Ripley was receiving nearly 3,000 letters a day. As Neal Thompson writes in A Curious Man: The Strange & Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe it or Not!”…
Is Marx still relevant?
P. G. Wodehouse and the costs of innocence
China loses a populist star