Articles by Emily St. John Mandel
August 27, 2013
“Books are solitudes in which we meet,” Rebecca Solnit wrote. But before the meeting comes the solitude, the book as a private space that a reader steps into, and there are moments when escaping into a book is a bid for some measure of seclusion. If the solitude you crave at the moment is a quiet one, here’s a short reading list of quiet books that I’ve recently read and admired.
August 8, 2013
In the absence of context, only the things that are truly important remain: someone was here, and freight trains broke their heart, and someone wanted them to stay but they didn’t.
July 31, 2013
The rapidly loosening mores of that time looked like freedom, but the level of risk that comes with freedom is never, of course, the same for everyone. Everyone who frequented the speakeasies of 1920s New York was taking a risk, but some had a net to catch them if they fell, and others didn’t.
July 11, 2013
Cars are freedom, stories are everything, and home is thick with ghosts.
June 28, 2013
Story of My People is an angry, eloquent, and beautifully written book, a hybrid of memoir and social commentary that took Italy’s prestigious Strega prize in 2011. This is a story about a man who loved his company and had to sell it, but this story is a microcosm for the decline of the Italian textiles industry and, more broadly, for the decline of manufacturing in the first world as industry has turned to cheaper labor markets elsewhere.
May 14, 2013
There are moments when the machinery of plot grinds a little too obviously, but Le Carré remains formidable. Here, as elsewhere in his body of work, Le Carré proves himself a master of character development.
May 13, 2013
In The Trajectory of Dreams, Wolverton has created one of the most haunting unreliable narrators I’ve ever come across. She is both deeply sympathetic and extremely dangerous.
April 2, 2013
There’s a feeling, reading this book, of encountering something that hasn’t been done before. It seems to me that Terese Svoboda is a true original.
March 29, 2013
What participation in social media comes down to, I think, is that either you have an instinct for broadcasting your life, or you don’t. Mary MacLane would have been a natural.
March 19, 2013
Hamid’s flawed but beautifully written new novel follows the trajectory of a self-made man in an unnamed country.