Reviews & Essays

The Goodness Paradox

HUMAN NATURE

The Goodness Paradox

Reviewed by Hamilton Cain ×

It's a quirk of evolutionary history: humans thrived because we learned to cooperate, but in the process, we invented ways of committing violence on a massive scale.
The Current

CRIME & PUNISHMENT

The Current

Reviewed by Anna Mundow ×

From the author of "Descent" comes a wintry tale of suspense and secrets in a Minnesota town.
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

AMERICAN HISTORY

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

Reviewed by Barbara Spindel ×

A sweeping new look at the modern history of American Indians challenges many of the narratives that have defined mainstream views of native peoples.
Late in the Day

FICTION

Late in the Day

Reviewed by Heller McAlpin ×

In Tessa Hadley's latest novel, two couples lives are deeply entangled -- all the more so when one of the foursome isn't there.
Handel in London: The Making of a Genius

MUSIC

Handel in London: The Making of a Genius

Reviewed by Anna Mundow ×

The German-born composer found his greatest audience in Britain's capital -- even if they were suspicious of his Italian-language operas.
The Future is (Nearly) Now: Science Fiction’s View of 2018

THE SPECULATOR

The Future is (Nearly) Now: Science Fiction’s View of 2018

By Paul Di Filippo ×

Looking back at a year in speculative fiction -- and what it says about the Brave New World of 2018.
“The Trouble with All the Houses I’ve Lived In”: Lucia Berlin in Fiction and Memoir

Reviews & Essays

“The Trouble with All the Houses I’ve Lived In”: Lucia Berlin in Fiction and Memoir

By Veronica Esposito ×

A posthumous memoir and collection of stories from the author of A Manual for Cleaning Woman offer a glimpse into the writer's fascinating life and a restless intelligence.
Milkman

A READING LIFE

Milkman

Reviewed by Katherine A. Powers ×

The 2018 Man Booker Prize winner charts a young woman's personal struggle amid the broader perils of 1970s Northern Ireland.
Art and Discontent: Olivia Laing’s Gamble in “Crudo”

BEYOND CATEGORY

Art and Discontent: Olivia Laing’s Gamble in “Crudo”

By Rafia Zakaria ×

In one of the year's most daring works of fiction, Olivia Laing imagines an internet-era altenate life for the groundbreaking writer Kathy Acker.
Little

FICTION

Little

Reviewed by Heller McAlpin ×

The story of the woman who became Madame Tussaud gets a treatment far livelier than waxwork in the novelist Edward Carey's imagination.
An American House Divided: “The Field of Blood” and “The War Before the War”

AMERICAN HISTORY

An American House Divided: “The Field of Blood” and “The War Before the War”

Essay by Hamilton Cain ×

Two new works of history look at the political and personal clashes that set the stage for the Civil War.
5 Favorite Novels of 2018: A Critic’s Choices

BEST OF 2018

5 Favorite Novels of 2018: A Critic’s Choices

By Katherine A. Powers ×

Five works of fiction worth moving to the top of even a very large to-read pile.