Reviews & Essays

Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America

FOOD

Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America

Reviewed by Sarah L. Courteau ×

Consider, says Michael Ruhlman, the most compelling evidence of a civilization's evolutionary leap: the supermarket....
Yawn: Adventures in Boredom

PSYCHOLOGY

Yawn: Adventures in Boredom

Reviewed by Mark Athitakis ×

One of the most common experiences is also one of the most poorly understood: Mary Mann explores the paradox of tedium....
With a God on His Side

CULTURAL STUDIES

With a God on His Side

Essay by Robert Christgau ×

Across his studies of culture and materialism, critic and philosopher Terry Eagleton looks for the "heart of a heartless world." Essay by Robert Christgau.
Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics

HISTORY

Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics

Reviewed by Barbara Spindel ×

The notion of "austerity" has returned to political conversations about the fate of America's cities. Kim Phillips-Fein looks back at the the lessons offered by New York's economic crisis of the...
Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977−2002)

MEMOIR

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977−2002)

Reviewed by Heller McAlpin ×

David Sedaris has made a literary career out of transforming the events of his life into mordantly comic prose. What does a look into his source material tell us? Review by Heller McAlpin.
Making It

MEMOIR

Making It

Reviewed by Christopher Byrd ×

Ambition, code switching, envy and obsession: revisiting Norman Podhoretz's memoir "Making It," writes Christopher Byrd, reveals not just a portrait, but a mirror....
House of Names

FICTION

House of Names

Reviewed by Steven G. Kellman ×

The author of "The Master" and "Brooklyn" takes on one of the greatest and most wrenching stories out of classical myth -- the crime and punishment of the House of Atreus.
Havana

CULTURAL HISTORY

Havana

Reviewed by Peter Lewis ×

Mark Kurlansky takes his idiosyncratic approach to history on a trip to Cuba's fabled capital. Review by Peter Lewis.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

CRIME

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Reviewed by Peter Lewis ×

David Grann looks back at a string of sinister deaths that plagued Oklahoma's Osage community in the 1920s. Review by Peter Lewis.
Not a Path, But a Labyrinth: Claire Dederer’s “Love and Trouble”

PROFILE

Not a Path, But a Labyrinth: Claire Dederer’s “Love and Trouble”

By David L. Ulin ×

In a coruscating new memoir, the author of "Poser" takes on the mysteries of love, desire, fidelity and marriage -- but finds no easy answers. Profile by David L. Ulin.
Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River

NATURAL HISTORY

Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River

Reviewed by Michael O'Donnell ×

A new book looks at what the Colorado River system means for the United States -- and how that might change, permanently. Review by Michael O'Donnell.
“You Know Something Awful is Coming”: Deb Olin Unferth

SHORT STORIES

“You Know Something Awful is Coming”: Deb Olin Unferth

Profile by David L. Ulin ×

In Deb Olin Unferth's writing, the only thing you can count on is that nothing is predictable. The result, writes David Ulin, is fiction as surprising and exciting as life itself.