Articles by Emily St. John Mandel
May 26, 2011
The story that surrounds Johanna Skibsrud’s first novel is captivating. The Sentimentalists, published by Canada’s tiny Gaspereau Press in an initial print run of 800, was the surprise winner of the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize. And yet hype, of course, is a double-edged sword.
May 18, 2011
Migration in its various forms is at the heart of a great many of my favorite plots in fiction. But beyond that it seems to me that migration, as an idea of motion, is inextricable from good fiction. Your characters must change—they must move, psychically at least, from point A to point B—and the plot must move forward.
April 28, 2011
If the night city is a territory, Nightshift NYC stands as an essential guide.
April 14, 2011
The most recent books I’ve read in the genre confirm my long-held suspicion that attempting to categorize books by genre does readers a disservice; these books are no less literary than any of the other great books I’ve read this year, they just have crimes and/or guns in them.
March 28, 2011
It seems to me that we could be almost anywhere, in any place far off the beaten track. Schaffert’s Bonnevilla is so sketchily rendered that it’s easy to project the places you’ve known over it.
March 14, 2011
Digital readers and paper books have little in common. But both objects have considerable merit, and this is why I think we should combine the two.
February 22, 2011
I feel some kinship with Lars, the narrator of Lars Iyer’s Spurious, a debut novel and a meditation on friendship, failure, the apocalypse, messianism, and mold.
February 7, 2011
Given all the years you spent writing your book or composing your music or perfecting your play before someone came along and spat on it, it’s extraordinarily difficult to respond to a bad review with grace.
January 25, 2011
In her elegant debut novel The Fates Will Find Their Way, Hannah Pittard defies the odds; she takes a story we’ve all read before—a girl disappears, the lives of those left behind are changed forever in the aftermath—and manages to create something entirely original.
December 29, 2010
I have a hard time describing the concerts themselves. I can describe the external details, but the problem is that words fall flat when describing a religious experience.