Articles by Emily St. John Mandel

May 13, 2013

Just How Far Will She Go? Nicole Wolverton’s The Trajectory of Dreams 5

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

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.