From the Newsstand

May 20, 2011

A Play is a World: Conservative PC, Liberal PC, and Taking Art Seriously 1

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All art is engaged in world-building, and it can be accomplished as successfully in 14 lines as in 500 pages.

April 25, 2011

What We Call What Women Write 71

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In the wake of comments Jennifer Egan made after her Pulitzer win, former Egan fans are uniting under the notion that in addition to being a meanie, Egan is setting feminists back 50 years. How could she?

February 16, 2011

On Race, Class and the Hollywood ‘Whiteout’ 19

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What we need are more serious movies with multiracial characters/casts that aren’t SCARE QUOTES MOVIES ABOUT RACE END SCARE QUOTES. We need more movies that simultaneously are and aren’t about race: movies that are dramas and comedies, about love, death, the usual human plots—and also happen to be about race.

January 4, 2011

New Yorker Fiction By the Numbers 8

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Several years ago I started cataloging the fiction published in The New Yorker in a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet began merely as a way to keep track of what I’d read, but I soon became curious about what the spreadsheet’s data-sorting capabilities could reveal.

October 21, 2010

No Satisfaction: Keith Richards and the Rock Memoir 9

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Rock-and-roll memoirs are among the most persistently disappointing literary subgenre. Genius that relies on fleeting inspiration, gut feeling, and unthinking improvisation is ill suited to the slow, reflective process of writing. It takes an outsider to get inside.

September 29, 2010

Under the Influence 0

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But did we quote from The End of the Affair because of our romantic failures, or were we failing romantically because we could quote from The End of the Affair?

August 16, 2010

The Franzen Cover and a Brief History of Time 17

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A look at Time‘s 83 literary coverboys and -girls reveals a waffling between reaching out and selling out that, today, we’d describe as Franzean.

June 7, 2010

The Risks of Fiction: On The New Yorker Writers Under 40 List 6

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The rewards of fiction can be greater than that of nonfiction—the ecstatic feeling of transport when you’re pulled into the world of a story, given a new window into human experience—but you can also come away from a story angry that the writer has just wasted 45 minutes of your life.

May 3, 2010

Will the iPad Change Publishing? Ask The Atlantic 11

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The cover of Fiction 2010 offers, to say the least, a provocative vision. The future is plentiful and bright—and there is not an iPad in sight.

April 7, 2010

Connecting Readers in the Cloud 2

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What if I couldn’t judge a book by a yoga mat? Would I find better matches, or perhaps more accurate ones?