Reviews & Essays

The End of Eddy

LIVES

The End of Eddy

Reviewed by Rafia Zakaria ×

In Édouard Louis's autobiographical novel, growing up gay in a working-class community in France meant living with a starkly divided self. Review by Rafia Zakaria.
The Genre of Life: On Frank Robinson and Samuel Delany

LIVES

The Genre of Life: On Frank Robinson and Samuel Delany

By Paul Di Filippo ×

Revelations and riches in a memoir from a pioneer of pulp fiction and a new collection of journals from an SF icon. Review by Paul Di Filippo.
Proust, Hardy, and Spam: 10 Things I Learned About Literature from Monty Python

COMEDY

Proust, Hardy, and Spam: 10 Things I Learned About Literature from Monty Python

By Chris Barsanti ×

Why growing up obsessed with world's most literate comedy troupe ought to be worth college credit. By Chris Barsanti.
The Middlepause: On Life After Youth

LIVES

The Middlepause: On Life After Youth

Reviewed by Barbara Spindel ×

In a culture obsessed with looking and feeling young, writer Marina Benjamin faces fifty head-on in her memoir. Review by Barbara Spindel.
Do Not Become Alarmed

FICTION

Do Not Become Alarmed

Reviewed by Veronique de Turenne ×

In Maile Meloy's new novel, a carefully controlled vacation gives way to crisis, and reveals the thin membrane that surrounds a "predictable" life.
Out in the Open

FICTION

Out in the Open

Reviewed by Hamilton Cain ×

Margaret Jull Costa's translation threads her way through Jesus Carrasco's new novel "as if every word contained a trap."...
Mary McCarthy, Natural Rebel

REDISCOVERY

Mary McCarthy, Natural Rebel

By Melissa H. Pierson ×

The genius of Mary McCarthy's fiction, writes Melissa H. Pierson, is that she let no one off the hook....
Modern Gods

FICTION

Modern Gods

Reviewed by Anna Mundow ×

In Nick Laird's novel, the everyday drama of a Northern Ireland family is shadowed by a past that can't quite be left behind. Review by Anna Mundow.
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...