Recent Articles

June 11, 2015

The Vaguest Designation 0

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“The wish to be a writer, and the will to be one, solve nothing about how you will live, and don’t even solve anything about how you will write. You have given yourself the vaguest designation.” Kristy Eldredge writes for The Rumpus about drawing inspiration from the unconventional career choices of Year in Reading alum Geoff […]

June 11, 2015

Hapworth Revisited: On J.D. Salinger’s Most Inscrutable Short Story 4

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The story remains something of a baffling enigma: branded as unreadable by critics, and never republished, only the most dedicated Salinger devotees bother to track it down and slog through it.

June 10, 2015

Show and Tell 0

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In theory, the author of a great novel is invisible to the reader, letting her stories and characters speak for themselves. In practice, however, it can help for an author to make herself known, as explained by Tim Parks in this essay. Sample quote: “We have the impression that if someone ever did find the […]

June 10, 2015

Aisle Nine 0

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Recommended Reading: “Voices of the Walmart.”

June 10, 2015

Father’s Day Books for Dads Who Actually Read 7

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A certain kind of man views his bookshelves the way a leopard sees bleached bones on the veldt — as evidence of past kills, the larger the better.

June 10, 2015

Numerology 0

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You may have heard that Joshua Cohen has a new book out this week. The Harper’s columnist’s fourth novel tells the story of a ghostwriter producing a tech wizard’s memoirs. In BOMB Magazine, Dan Duray sits down with Cohen, who talks about the book, the Bay Area and the cultural production of autism. Related: Johannes […]

June 10, 2015

The Teacher 0

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Although Jon Fosse is not well known in America, his work is revered in his native Norway, where he stands on a par with his onetime student and American celebrity, Karl Ove Knausgaard. In a piece for The Paris Review Daily, Damion Searls argues for Fosse’s relevance, claiming that Fosse is the only writer whose […]

June 10, 2015

A Sense of Levitation: On Reading W.G. Sebald 1

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I am resisting the temptation to read Sebald’s books all the way through, pausing only to eat, sleep, and visit the toilet.

June 9, 2015

Big Sky 0

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I’ve written before about Literary Enemies, a series at the Ploughshares blog in which two writers are shown to have opposing sensibilities. This week, Lily Meyer argues that Flannery O’Connor and Marilynne Robinson are a worthy addition to the series, as the former contracts narrative space and the latter expands it. Sample quote: “It seems to me […]

June 9, 2015

Direct Feed 0

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“Exorbitant cost aside, if I can have the complete works of Shakespeare electronically beamed into my brain in under ten minutes, can I really say I’ve experienced Shakespeare? There is something organic about the experience of moving your eyeballs from left to right over an LCD screen in order to take in a sequence of […]