Recent Articles

December 20, 2014

In Moominland 0

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“After [WWII], the other Finnish artists formed themselves into political groups but Tove wasn’t a joiner; besides, the only political activity she enjoyed was tyrant-baiting. She decided to emigrate to the island kingdom of Tonga but the governor wrote back saying there was a housing shortage and she wouldn’t be welcome. So she created her […]

December 20, 2014

A Year in Reading: Thomas Beckwith 0

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A remarkable thing about the collection is how well it captures the messiness at the heart of civilized life.

December 20, 2014

Real People 0

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“Here is the last and biggest piece of advice I have: If you have a story that you want to tell, but you’re afraid that someone in your life is going to feel wounded, whether that feeling is justified or not, fair or not, tell it anyway.” Emma Straub, who recently wrote about her Year […]

December 20, 2014

A Year in Reading: Tess Malone 1

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Whether you like her or not, Lena Dunham is a new literary voice to be reckoned with — cutting, funny, and sometimes brutal.

December 19, 2014

A Year in Reading: Jean Hanff Korelitz 2

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According to the elves at Goodreads, I’ve read 70 books so far this year, a feat made possible by the fact that I finally figured out how to get New York Public Library audiobooks onto my iPhone.

December 19, 2014

“Neither Tarnished Nor Afraid” 0

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“Being nominated for an award feels the way I imagine winning the lottery must feel: You’re deeply grateful and a little disoriented, you feel very lucky, and you know that it could just as easily have been someone else.” Our own Emily St. John Mandel writes about “the vast distance between literary prizes and literary […]

December 19, 2014

A Year in Reading: Rachel Cantor 1

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I divide this year’s shortlist into three categories: Tales Well Told, Fun Stuff, and Miracles of Voice.

December 19, 2014

On Board The Pequod 0

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Recommended reading: Ben Shattuck spends a night and a day aboard a New England whaling ship in an attempt to better understand Ishmael’s (and Melville‘s) experiences, and combines Moby-Dick excerpts with his own accounts of life onboard in a piece for The Atlantic.

December 19, 2014

A Year in Reading: William Giraldi 2

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Only those with a consummate lack of cleverness wield the word “clever” as an insult, and De Vries demonstrates just how much can be done with a creative intelligence charged by the clever and satirical and ironic.

December 18, 2014

A Year in Reading: Bill Morris 3

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Delightfully free of finger-pointing, cheap nostalgia, or breathless boosterism, the book makes the point that only through an understanding of this troubled city’s history can one hope to understand its current woes and its possible ways forward.