Notable Articles

May 16, 2011

The Stockholm Syndrome Theory of Long Novels 109


…and some other observations of doubtful critical merit.

April 25, 2011

What We Call What Women Write 71


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?

April 19, 2011

How Avant Is It? Zadie Smith, Tom McCarthy, and the Novel’s Way Forward 25


Huge claims have been made on behalf of the novelist Tom McCarthy. But what do they actually tell us about “the future of fiction?”

February 24, 2011

The Pen, Mightier 35


We care about what our words look like because we somewhere believe that this says something about who we are beyond font or scrawl.

February 7, 2011

On Bad Reviews 74


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.

February 2, 2011

Judging Books by Their Covers: U.S. Vs. U.K. 51


Book cover design is a strange exercise in which one attempts to distill iconic imagery from hundreds of pages of text.

February 1, 2011

Saving Salinger 31


“The Last and Best of the Peter Pans” and “The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls” have never been published in the nearly sixty years since Salinger wrote them.  Princeton’s Firestone Library now protects the only known copies.

January 18, 2011

The Story Problem: 10 Thoughts on Academia’s Novel Crisis 77


The rhythm of school is conducive to the writing of small things, not big things, and we don’t try hard enough to think beyond that rhythm because, for many of us, it’s the only rhythm we know.

January 3, 2011

Most Anticipated: The Great 2011 Book Preview 61


8,000 words strong and encompassing 76 titles, it’s the only 2011 book preview you will ever need.

December 16, 2010

A Year in Marginalia: Sam Anderson 35


It’s the most intimate, complete, and honest form of criticism possible.