Recent Articles

July 2, 2014

A writer by any other name… 0

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Using pen names has been a common practice for, well, a very long time. George Eliot is a nom de plume, as are George Orwell and George Sand. Though not a George, journalist Sarah Hall chose to publish her fiction under a different name. She writes for The Guardian about this decision, the history of […]

July 2, 2014

Looking from Across the Room: An Interview with Rebecca Makkai 0

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I want everything to theoretically have some kind of an explanation, but at the same time there’s this question of luck – can you really have that much good luck or bad luck, or does it at some point start to feel supernatural?

July 1, 2014

Fiction by Allegra Goodman 0

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Recommended reading: elderly sisters contend with the youngest dying, in a quietly wry new story by Allegra Goodman at the New Yorker. “She pretended to sleep, and then she really did drop off. When she woke, her sisters were hovering over her. Some of us have overstayed our welcome, Jeanne thought. And then, with sudden shock, No: I’m the […]

July 1, 2014

What your next-beach-umbrella neighbor is reading 0

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Yes, but what’s everyone else reading this summer? Bookstores in beach towns know better than to stock “business, personal finance, or diet” books–though poetry does pretty well–but they are looking forward to these bestsellers. The print-disinclined can take heart that there are even a fair number of literary movies coming out soon. (Related: our own recommended summer reading list, also […]

July 1, 2014

The gun goes off in the end 0

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“Maybe this is a writer thing, having pages and pages of stuff written that has not yet cohered into a completed arc, which, when you finish it, would be a laurel on which you could rest.” A writer considers Chekhov’s dictum.

July 1, 2014

The real Susan Orlean diet 0

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The Skinny is acclaimed author Susan Orlean’s strangest work, hands down: a half-serious diet book that advises women, among other things, to cover tempting food with bleach. Not one to follow her own advice, Orlean’s diary of a week of eating for Grub Street features yogurt breakfasts, crackers eaten over sinks, and other basically realistic, bleach-free culinary adventures.

July 1, 2014

I think a lot about myself, therefore I am self. 0

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In the Prospect, an essay on anesthesia, 3D printing, teleportation, LSD, and other thought experiments on self-awareness. Also, this line: “If the spectrum of selfhood begins with the roundworm, surely it ends with Proust.” 

July 1, 2014

Tuesday New Release Day: Gould; Foster; Netzer; Sohn; Rotert; Jacob; Canobbio; Wallace; Weil; Beckett 0

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Out this week: Friendship by Emily Gould; God Is an Astronaut by Alyson Foster; How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer; The Actress by Amy Sohn; Last Night at the Blue Angel by Rebecca Rotert; The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob; Three Light-Years by Andrea Canobbio; The Sacred River […]

July 1, 2014

Is This Really Real Life? Christopher Beha’s Arts & Entertainments 2

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Eddie, the main character, no longer wants to be a protagonist. He simply wants to no longer feel like a failure, which is a pretty good definition of adulthood at this moment.

June 30, 2014

The sublime everyday 0

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Tom Perotta, author of  Little Children and The Leftovers, talks about how he learned to write about ordinary life from Thornton Wilder’s play, Our Town. “The tragedy is that, while we’re alive, we don’t view our days in the knowledge that all things must pass. We don’t—we can’t—value our lives, our loved ones, with the urgent knowledge that they’ll one day be gone forever.”