Recent Articles

September 14, 2016

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop 0

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“I couldn’t put the books down. Now that so many of us complain of diminished attention spans— our own as well as our companions’—it’s worth asking what has made millions of readers willing to suspend their disbelief—to suspend their selves—for thousands of pages.” Why have so many people gone gaga for Ferrante and Knausgaard? We have […]

September 14, 2016

Spitting Straight Fire 0

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“You don’t feel that most of the people in these incidents do not like black people, but simply are a product of their white supremacy and are exercising it on you without caution, care, or thought.” Solange Knowles wrote an essay and you need to read it. See also: our review of Wild Hundreds.

September 13, 2016

Throwing Out the Instruction Manual: On Alexandra Kleeman’s ‘Intimations’ 12

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Kleeman is working in the surrealism-neighboring-naturalism tradition of preceding wunderkinds like Téa Obreht and Jonathan Safran Foer, where sections of dreamlike allegory supplement sections telling the primary “real life” story.

September 13, 2016

We Need to Talk About Lionel 2

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“Officials in charge of an Australian writers festival were so upset with the address by their keynote speaker, the American novelist Lionel Shriver, that they censored her on the festival website and publicly disavowed her remarks.” Dang. (We agree, it was pretty bad – she wore a sombrero for most of her speech.) Writers’ conferences: […]

September 13, 2016

A Reader’s Rebellion 0

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“Trusting the literary press and the mechanisms of the market to curate the books we read and study is to hand over whole regions of literary curiosity and judgment before one even picks up a book.” On refusing to read. We’re not prepared to go quite that far, instead preferring our own Sonya Chung‘s practice of not […]

September 13, 2016

Booker Prize Offers Up Eclectic 2016 Shortlist 1

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The Booker Prize has whittled down its longlist to an intriguing shortlist, and none of the authors tapped has previously won the Prize.

September 13, 2016

Scars That Never Fade: On Colson Whitehead’s ‘The Underground Railroad’ 0

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How can a country ever put such a period behind it? Putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill won’t change the fact that American money was used to purchase people.

September 13, 2016

Tuesday New Release Day: McEwan; Moore; Patchett; Tea; Jufresa; Wayne; Silver; Frangello; Gottlieb; Karp; Collins; Kleeman 0

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Out this week: Nutshell by Ian McEwan; Jerusalem by Alan Moore; Commonwealth by Ann Patchett; Black Wave by Michelle Tea; Umami by Laia Jufresa; Loner by Teddy Wayne; Little Nothing by Marisa Silver; Every Kind of Wanting by Gina Frangello; Avid Reader: A Life by Robert Gottlieb; This Vast Southern Empire by Matthew Karp; When in French by Lauren Collins; and Intimations by Alexandra Kleeman. For more on […]

September 12, 2016

So Shiny 0

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Our good friends at The Morning News just rolled out a spiffy new look this morning! It’s in support of their “news for nerds” mission, which we also wholeheartedly support. Congrats, guys. Might we suggest you celebrate by reading its co-founder (and Year in Reading alum) Rosecrans Baldwin‘s very funny diary from a few years back?

September 12, 2016

Will Writing a Novel Jeopardize My Mental Health? 4

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Whether apprentice or expert, a writer must find a way to outwit the superego’s goal of paralysis — to unhand it of its main tool, a prism that makes one’s efforts look paltry, often in direct relation to one’s reverence for the greats.