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About the Author

Michelle Dean is the 2017 recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Balakian citation for excellence in criticism. Her book Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion will be published in 2018.

Somebody With a Little Hammer

ESSAYS

Somebody With a Little Hammer

Reviewed by Michelle Dean ×

When the writer Mary Gaitskill is mentioned, the word "dark" usually follows. That's a mistake, writes Michelle Dean.
Transit

FICTION

Transit

Reviewed by Michelle Dean ×

In "Outline," Rachel Cusk joined the literary movement that blurs the boundaries between fiction, essay, and memoir. Will her new work take readers even further? Review by Michelle Dean.
Stiffed, Again

REDISCOVERY

Stiffed, Again

Essay by Michelle Dean ×

Michelle Dean on what Susan Faludi's study of masculinity and resentment can tell us about our current moment....
Swing Time

FICTION

Swing Time

Reviewed by Michelle Dean ×

Zadie Smith's new novel is a story of art, fame, and female friendship under the strain of competition. Review by Michelle Dean.
A Gambler’s Anatomy

FICTION

A Gambler’s Anatomy

Reviewed by Michelle Dean ×

The curious world of high-stakes backgammon is at the center of the new novel from the author of "Motherless Brooklyn" and "The Fortress of Solitude." Review by Michelle Dean.
Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer

ARTISTS

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer

Reviewed by Michelle Dean ×

Arthur Lubow's new biography attempts to unravel the enigma of a photographer who specialized in human mystery. Review by Michelle Dean.
Mislaid

FICTION

Mislaid

Reviewed by Michelle Dean ×

An unlikely marriage kicks off an exuberant satire on race and sexual identity, as well as a turn toward Shakespearean comedy.
Very Good Lives

ADVICE

Very Good Lives

Reviewed by Michelle Dean ×

The woman behind Harry Potter enters the growing field of commencement speeches-as-books. What does she want to teach us? Michelle Dean reports.
When the Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010

ESSAYS

When the Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010

Reviewed by Michelle Dean ×

The departed historian's final works venture into the twenty-first century's dawn, in search of the "collective goods" capable of uniting us. Michelle Dean reports.
Permission Granted: Women and the Essay in 2014

THE YEAR IN READING

Permission Granted: Women and the Essay in 2014

By Michelle Dean ×

Hearing our own questions when the writer dares to ask. By Michelle Dean.
The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion

ESSAYS

The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion

Reviewed by Michelle Dean ×

An essayist pursues harsh reality head-on, and finds candor to be more complicated than she'd thought.
The Secret History of Wonder Woman

CULTURAL STUDIES

The Secret History of Wonder Woman

Reviewed by Michelle Dean ×

The strange genesis of a star-spangled symbol of female empowerment.