Recent Articles

October 25, 2016

Paul Beatty Wins the 2016 Man Booker Prize 64

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Novelist Paul Beatty has won this year’s Man Booker Prize for The Sellout, becoming the first American writer to win the Prize. Our own Matt Seidel reviewed the book earlier this year, calling Beatty’s voice “appealing, erudite, and entertaining”; you can trace those voice’s antecedents in this great piece by Alcy Leyva. Revisit this year’s Booker Shortlist.

October 25, 2016

Amputations and Oversights: On Marc Nieson’s ‘Schoolhouse’ 2

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If you never read a book that was written by someone you know, then you never come truly face to face with the sad inadequacy of real life, which is the reason books exist in the first place. 

October 25, 2016

POTUS Picks 0

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For its November issue, Wired asks guest editor President Obama for a list of his 10 essential books. The magazine estimates that reading all of them, including James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, Katherine Boo‘s Behind the Beautiful Forevers, and Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, will take only eighty-nine hours.

October 25, 2016

Tuesday New Release Day: Jin; Saizarbitoria; Jackson; Carson; Conroy; Boyle 0

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Out this week: The Boat Rocker by Ha Jin; Martutene by Ramón Saizarbitoria; Black Elk by Joe Jackson; Float by Anne Carson; A Lowcountry Heart by Pat Conroy; and The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle. For more on these and other new titles, go read our Great Second-Half 2016 Book Preview.

October 25, 2016

Pressing Closer: On Brit Bennett’s ‘The Mothers’ 0

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Bennett’s characters struggle to know one another while navigating a morass of regret, bitterness, and desire; the result is a drama of feeling that explores how trauma shapes the contours of our lives and delineates the limits to our intimacy.

October 24, 2016

Step Aside Shakes 0

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Hold on to your starched collars: In breaking Shakespeare news, Oxford University Press announced that in its new edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe will receive credit as co-author on the Henriad plays. And if you’re really tired of Will getting all the credit, you’ll enjoy our recent piece about the surge […]

October 24, 2016

What Is It About Baseball? W.P. Kinsella, José Fernández, and the Dust of the 2016 Season 0

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Baseball can do that, I guess.  It can remind you of everything that once mattered to you, everything that matters still.  It can brush the great promise of tomorrow against the agreeable sting of the past, and the sorrows of today.

October 24, 2016

Running in the Wake 6

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What better way to test my fortitude than by hammering my head with the legendarily impenetrable Irish jibberish of Finnegans Wake? If I can run 20 yammering nonsensical miles, then an extra six with folks cheering most of the way instead: easy, right? Maybe easier.

October 24, 2016

Five Rows of Startlingly Empty Chairs 0

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“An easel stood just inside the big glass doorway when I entered the store. On it leaned my author photo, the one from the back cover of Domestic Violets, and it was fucking enormous. It was the size of a photo you’d expect to see if Bono had been appearing at Barnes & Noble, Bill Clinton maybe, […]

October 23, 2016

A Screwball Tragedy 0

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“Expertly constructed, Mister Monkey is so fresh and new it’s almost giddy, almost impudent with originality. Tender and artful, Prose’s 15th novel is a sophisticated satire, a gently spiritual celebration of life, a dark and thoroughly grim depiction of despair, a screwball comedy, a screwball tragedy.” Cathleen Schine reviews Francine Prose’s newest novel, Mister Monkey, over […]