Literature

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A Bildungsroman Spy Novel: On Rosalie Knecht’s Who is Vera Kelly? by Kristen Martin
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The covert operative with a complex psyche.

We Are The Thoughts of Sorrows: On Lou Reed’s book of poems Do Angels Need Haircuts? by Alex Zafiris
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After The Velvet Underground, a poetic underworld.

The Limits of Sympathy: On Rachel Kushner’s The Mars Room by Daniel Pearce
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What literature can (and can’t) tell us about America’s criminal justice system.

A World Without the Present: on Yoko Tawada’s The Emissary by J.W. McCormack
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The novelist’s latest imagines an apocalypse that feels all too likely.

A Taxonomy of Refusal: On Anne Boyer’s A Handbook of Disappointed Fate by Julia Bosson
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Essays that investigate the poetics of “no.”

Two Things at Once: On Harry Mathews’ The Solitary Twin by J.W. McCormack
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The pleasures of literary play in the writer’s final novel.

Mundanity and Insanity: on Joy Williams’s The Changeling by Lincoln Michel
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Rediscovering a beguiling masterpiece forty years after its publication.

Sheila Heti’s Motherhood by Monica Uszerowicz
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When I was young, my mother told me that when she was a fetus in her mother’s womb, her own body already contained the egg that would one day be fertilized and become me. It’s an image akin to an infinite-loop motif—a Droste-effect woman in a woman in a woman

Lynne Tillman’s Men and Apparitions by Michael Valinsky
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Lynne Tillman’s first novel in twelve years, Men and Apparitions, follows a narrator ruminating on his own subject position: Ezekiel “Zeke” Stark, a cultural anthropologist, conducts a study of men’s reactions to and impressions of the changing nature of masculinity in America today. 

The Rest Is Silence: Magnus Mills’s The Forensic Records Society by Sean Adams
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The comic turmoil of the mundane, with musical accompaniment.

Genre Omnivore: on Dino Buzzati’s Catastrophe by Lincoln Michel
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Fabulism and absurdity from an under-appreciated Italian master.

The Frays of Life: On Julián Herbert’s Tomb Song by Hunter Braithwaite
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Autofiction that explores the borderland between memoir and vision quest.

An Urban Palimpsest: Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City by Thomas Devaney
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Making urban history visible. 

Fragments as Form: Mary Robison’s Why Did I Ever by Lincoln Michel
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The great lost American fragment novel.

An Anxiety of Influence: on Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi’s Call Me Zebra by Michael Valinsky
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Writing as an intransitive catastrophe and the hyperbole of literature.

Getting Out of the Western Box: Dennis Tedlock’s The Olson Codex by Ammiel Alcalay
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Paying homage to poet Charles Olson’s “special view” of the Yucatán.

A Panacea for Anti-Intellectualism: Martin Amis’s The Rub of Time by Ryan Chapman
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A new collection of criticism and reportage considers Trump, Bellow, and the pleasures of close reading.

Alternative Visions: John Yau’s The Wild Children of William Blake by Rob Colvin
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Writing art history from the inside out. 

For People Like Us: on Denis Johnson’s The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Lincoln Michel
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A posthumous collection cements the author’s reputation as a master of the short story.

Literary Architecture: Quinn Latimer’s Like a Woman: Essays, Readings, Poems by Sylvia Gindick
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The solitude of the voice. 

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