Articles by Emily St. John Mandel
August 21, 2012
Is he alive, or is he dead? There are moments in this very funny, very ghoulish novella when he seems definitely one or the other; other moments when he might somehow be both. He’s roughly the fictional equivalent of Schrödinger’s cat.
July 31, 2012
Do the ones who save us owe us anything? The Bellarosa Connection is fascinating as a study of memory and regret.
June 26, 2012
Jeet Thayil’s debut novel is an unsettling portrait of a seething city, a beautifully-written meditation on addiction, sex, friendship, dreams, and murder.
June 21, 2012
Simon Brenner is an ex-detective, a man in middle age who has decided after trying out more than fifty professions that he was born to be a chauffeur. Although actually, “chauffeur” doesn’t seem exactly the right word for his current employment: he’s almost, when you come right down to it, a sort of Autobahn-based nanny.
May 10, 2012
H.H. Munro wrote a great many light and often very funny send-ups of the stifling conventions and manners of the Edwardian age. But on the other hand, three of the first eight stories in the book involve corpses, with two of these being small children eaten by wild animals.
April 27, 2012
Hudgens doesn’t shy away from the brutality of life on earth — the illness, the decreptitude, the humiliations and the teen suicides — but the grittiness is never gratuitous, and his stories are infused with compassion and humanity.
March 28, 2012
To be clear, I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with calling one’s book The ___’s Daughter. I think those titles have a marvelous rhythm to them. And yet one can’t help but wonder why there seem to be so many of them.
March 20, 2012
Harkaway manages to write surrealist adventure novels that feel both urgent and relevant. His novels are fun to read without seeming particularly frivolous, and beneath all the derring-do and shenanigans, there’s a low thrum of anxiety: everything and everyone you love could disappear at any moment. There is nothing that you cannot lose.
February 22, 2012
I’ve been thinking lately about adulthood. When it begins, what expectations we might reasonably have of those just entering through its gates, and how we represent it in our fiction.
January 19, 2012
Fraser Nixon’s debut novel is a fast, sharp piece of work. Novels with plots and titles like this one are easily filed under crime fiction, but this is one of countless instances where artificial divisions of genre do readers a disservice.