Recent Articles

July 28, 2017

The End of One Era & Start of Another 0

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“[I]n the world of letters, it is hard to imagine a more seismic change than this one.” The New York Times announces that its longtime book critic Michiko Kakutani is stepping down after nearly four decades of reviews. The Times also offers a roundup of her greatest hits, including writeups of Beloved, Infinite Jest, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and Bill Clinton‘s […]

July 28, 2017

Requiem for a Reader 0

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My first memory of my father as a reader was him telling me to hurry up; it was almost time to silflay.

July 27, 2017

When Capitalism and Christianity Collide in Fiction 0

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According to a recent study, 38 percent of Christians say “capitalism is at odds with Christian values.” Those findings echo a stubborn tension between Christianity and capitalism in American life, an uneasiness that shows up repeatedly in American fiction.

July 27, 2017

Timing Is Everything 0

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“In a world where reality has become stranger than fiction, actual books are no longer selling.” At The New Republic, Morgan Jerkins talks with agents, authors, booksellers, editors, and publicists about whether the Trump presidency is bad for the book business. And on that note, let’s revisit our own Bill Morris on book releases: “There are few iron facts in the […]

July 27, 2017

Novelcraft 0

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“I war-gamed out everything. My biggest fear was that somebody tries to play out my book and finds out it won’t work.” At The New York Times, Alexandra Alter writes about the new Minecraft novel by Max Brooks, author of World War Z: “In the process, he may have also created a strange new entertainment category, one that hovers […]

July 27, 2017

Brevity Is the Soul of It: In Praise of Short Books 0

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Short books are not narratives, but devices: instead of the telescope of a long novel or history tome, they are a pair of sunglasses, allowing you to see the world, briefly and temporarily, in a different shade.

July 26, 2017

The Booker’s Dozen: The 2017 Booker Longlist 7

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Notable names like Colson Whitehead, George Saunders, Paul Auster, Zadie Smith and Mohsin Hamid> make for formidable competition.

July 26, 2017

The Ball Is a Woman 0

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“Now I get paid to do something I have loved since I was 4 years old. Other than my family, is there anything else I have loved so unconditionally, for so long?” Georgia Cloepfil in N+1 on the uncompromising, compromised life of the professional female athlete. See also: some thoughts about hosting the World Cup.

July 26, 2017

HomeWORK More Like HomeFUN 0

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“Heidi Maier, the new superintendent of the 42,000-student Marion County public school district in Florida, said in an interview that she made the decision based on solid research about what works best in improving academic achievement in students.” In place of traditional homework, 20,000 elementary school students will spend 20 minutes reading a book of […]

July 26, 2017

Where Randomness and Madness Reign 0

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I couldn’t help but feel that the narrator was wearing brass knuckles spelling out “postmodern” and trying, repeatedly, to punch me in the face.