Reviews & Essays

ESSAYS

Essays After Eighty

Essays After Eighty

By DONALD HALL

A still-vigorous U.S. Poet Laureate’s view of octogenarian life: concision, health battles, and growing a very long beard. Review by Danny Heitman.

Posted by × December 22, 2014 ×

THE YEAR IN READING

Editors’ Picks: Our Favorites of 2014

Editors’ Picks: Our Favorites of 2014

Twenty beloved books (and pieces) from the year that was. You may now exhale.

Posted by × December 19, 2014 ×

MONEY

Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld

Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld

By JAKE HALPERN

The Victorian world of debtor’s prison is back, and some are looking to profit.

Posted by × December 19, 2014 ×

LIVES

Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind

Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind

By SARAH WILDMAN

A cache of letters reveals that a family’s escape from Nazi genocide was incomplete.

Posted by × December 18, 2014 ×

FICTION

The Zone of Interest

The Zone of Interest

By MARTIN AMIS

Alexander Chee on why a love story set in a Nazi concentration camp may prove a standout chapter in the novelist’s defiant career.

Posted by × December 17, 2014 ×

FICTION

Suspended Sentences

Suspended Sentences

By PATRICK MODIANO; Translated by MARK POLIZZOTTI

A trio of novellas from 2014 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature shuttles readers between Paris past and present. Review by Anna Mundow.

Posted by × December 15, 2014 ×

RELIGION

Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence

Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence

By KAREN ARMSTRONG

Have faith and fanaticism been at the heart of our global history of war?

Posted by × December 9, 2014 ×

THE YEAR IN READING

Permission Granted: Women and the Essay in 2014

Permission Granted: Women and the Essay in 2014

Hearing our own questions when the writer dares to ask. By Michelle Dean.

Posted by × December 8, 2014 ×

HISTORY

The Smell of Battle, the Taste of Siege: A Sensory History of the Civil War

The Smell of Battle, the Taste of Siege: A Sensory History of the Civil War

By MARK M. SMITH

Can we understand an American cataclysm without experiencing the reek of death and the roar of cannon? Review by Adam Kirsch.

Posted by × December 5, 2014 ×

LIVES

Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love

Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love

By JAMES BOOTH

A new life of the poet who gloried in the mundane. Reviewed by Troy Jollimore.

Posted by × December 3, 2014 ×

FICTION

Shark

Shark

By WILL SELF

In a prequel to his novel Umbrella, the novelist follows his psychiatrist hero on a dive into war and its aftermath.

Posted by × December 3, 2014 ×

FICTION

How to Be Both

How to Be Both

By ALI SMITH

An act of authorial magic crosses the lives of a Renaissance painter and a twenty-first-century teen. Review by Liesl Schillinger

Posted by × December 2, 2014 ×

LIVES

Even This I Get to Experience

Even This I Get to Experience

By NORMAN LEAR

How the creator of Archie Bunker brought political awareness to the idiot box.

Posted by × December 1, 2014 ×

FILM

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe

By CHRIS TAYLOR

Black Friday explained: a long time ago, a galaxy far, far away proved to be immensely lucrative.

Posted by × November 26, 2014 ×

LIVES

Looking for Laurie

Looking for Laurie

Home for the holidays: a daughter’s tribute to her mother, Laurie Colwin, the writer whose graceful observations of food and family made her an icon.

Posted by × November 26, 2014 ×