Articles by Emily St. John Mandel

April 2, 2013

Staff Pick: Terese Svoboda’s Tin God 0

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

I Await The Devil’s Friend Request: On Social Media and Mary MacLane 15

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

Lost in the Land of Self-Help: Mohsin Hamid’s How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia 0

Hamid’s flawed but beautifully written new novel follows the trajectory of a self-made man in an unnamed country.

February 22, 2013

Drinking at the End of the World: Lars Iyer’s Exodus 5

Enduring the everyday is relatively straightforward — just keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other — but how to transcend the everyday, in this world neither you nor I have made?

January 16, 2013

Shadows and Electricity: Juliann Garey’s Too Bright To Hear Too Loud To See 0

Greyson Todd is a man on a wire. He has excelled as a studio executive in Hollywood, and has everything that one’s supposed to want: a kind and supportive spouse, a lovely child. Money, beautiful house, glamourous career. But he’s been hiding a bipolar disorder for two decades, and it’s getting harder and harder to breathe.

December 9, 2012

A Year in Reading: Emily St. John Mandel 2

It’s a mesmerizing, precisely-written, sad, and very violent tale, with unexpected flashes of humor.

November 29, 2012

A Younger, Stranger America: On Harry Houdini’s The Right Way to Do Wrong 0

The collection functions as a glimpse into a fascinating world of low-rent, high-risk stunt performing that’s largely faded away.

November 27, 2012

Invisible Borders: Mohsin Hamid’s Moth Smoke 0

Hamid’s first novel, recently re-released, was published not long after Pakistan tested its first nuclear weapons, and the arms race between Pakistan and India form the jittery backdrop to a harrowing story of a man’s descent.

October 18, 2012

Back in the USSR: On Maurice DeKobra’s The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars 0

This is the kind of book that gets described as “a delightful romp” in press materials, and that’s not an inaccurate description of a book that functions beautifully as both send-up of high society and globe-spanning adventure story, but the novel has a deathly serious core.

October 15, 2012

Strange Long Dream: Justin Cronin’s The Twelve 3

Once again Cronin has superbly handled the difficult task of writing a character-driven adventure story. The vampires remain terrifying, but they’re arguably less terrifying than the humans who have decided to collaborate with them in order to survive.