Reviews & Essays

The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics

POLITICS

The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics

The man who put words into the mouth of a disgraced governor on American politicians behind the curtain: when they run, who they value, and why they lie. Review by Peter Lewis....
Speak

FICTION

Speak

Louisa Hall's ambitious new novel braids together lives far-flung in time in a story that explores our links to "histories we can't ever know." Review by Anna Mundow....
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

MEMOIR

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

For the journalist William Finnegan, the art of catching a wave has served as an analogue to finding the arc of a story. Review by Tess Taylor....
How Music Got Free

MUSIC

How Music Got Free

How a surprisingly low-tech approach to music smuggling -- think big belt buckles -- kicked off the age of Napster and a revolution in the music business. Review by Chris Molanphy....
The Country of Ice Cream Star

FICTION

The Country of Ice Cream Star

A novel of post-apocalyptic America in the year 2100, starring a heroine "as bell and brave as 'The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen - and much more mature."...
In the Country

FICTION

In the Country

A debuting author's short stories offer a wide lens of Filipino immigrants' experience: "to recreate a sense of home in the strange lands where they find themselves." Review by Roxane Gay....
Music for Wartime

FICTION

Music for Wartime

In tales of World War II songwriters, reality TV producers, and points in between, the stories in Makkai’s new collection are marked by her "often-dark wit and lively intellect." Review by...
Running with the Renegade: Leon Neyfakh on “The Next Next Level”

MUSIC

Running with the Renegade: Leon Neyfakh on “The Next Next Level”

A portrait of a hip-hop artist as a young man raises questions about technology and creative independence in a media-saturated world. Profile by Tobias Carroll....
Long Story Short: Etgar Keret on “The Seven Good Years”

MEMOIR

Long Story Short: Etgar Keret on “The Seven Good Years”

A master storyteller talks to John Freeman about his new memoir of his family, lessons learned from Holocaust survivor parents, and climbing the narrowest house in the world....
The Household Spirit

FICTION

The Household Spirit

With elements of ghost stories and capers, a new novel centers on neighbors who challenge what we've come to expect from "unlikely friendships" in fiction. Review by Stefan Beck....
Founding Grammars: How Early America’s War Over Words Shaped Today’s Language

LANGUAGE

Founding Grammars: How Early America’s War Over Words Shaped Today’s Language

An impassioned history of primary U.S. prose finds “entertaining historical perspective on these linguistic clashes.”...
Death and Mr. Pickwick

FICTION

Death and Mr. Pickwick

The work that made Charles Dickens famous is the basis for a multilayered debut novel of 19th-century life and letters. Review by Adam Kirsch....