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MOST RECENT ARTICLES BY:
best of 2018
Dec. 5, 2018
The 10 Best Books of 2018
Reinvented auto-fiction from Heti and Cusk, gripping essays, wild tales of Russia and opioids, and final stories from the late master Denis Johnson.
Oct. 2, 2018
War, Drugs, and Other Extremes in the Post-Post-9/11 Novel
Two recent novels,
Waiting for Eden
, try to keep pace with our state of permanent crisis.
Sept. 18, 2018
The Books Most Everyone Will Be Arguing About This Fall
In a special, forward-looking seasonal edition of Lit Parade.
Sept. 17, 2018
The Last Samurai
Is the Best Book of the Century (for Now)
The Last Samurai
is a masterpiece. It’s an accident of recent history that it’s taken the culture some time to realize it.
Aug. 13, 2018
Remembering V.S. Naipaul, a Pioneer of Postcolonial Literature
The author died this weekend at 85.
July 24, 2018
Might Be the First Great Novel of the Opioid Epidemic
It is also one of the best war novels written in a generation.
July 11, 2018
What Does Russia Look Like, Now?
Putin, as bad as he is, is well within the mainstream of Russian politics. Whereas Trump is a radical fringe figure.
June 14, 2018
Lydia Millet Is Not Nearly As Famous As She Should Be.
The novelist is ferociously untame, paying little heed to the boundaries of realism and even less to those of class.
June 8, 2018
What Sy Hersh Knows
An unsummarizable interview with the inimitable investigative journalist and raconteur of the American national security state.
June 5, 2018
: The Outline Trilogy Gets Its Third Masterpiece
Voice and style — can they be separated? The auteurs of autofiction are all stylists and tension between style and voice is why we’ve flocked to them.
June 4, 2018
What James Wood the Critic Would Make of James Wood the Novelist
The question is just as interesting posed the opposite way.
May 23, 2018
There Were Many Philip Roths
We remember the slab of liver and the sex, but Roth probably contemplated death more than any writer after Tolstoy.
May 15, 2018
Tom Wolfe’s Path to Immortality
Now Wolfe is dead and one wonders what color suit he’ll be buried in, because cremation wouldn’t do.
May 11, 2018
Sheila Heti, Ben Lerner, Tao Lin: How ‘Auto’ Is ‘Autofiction’?
And what’s more important, the
May 4, 2018
The Best Books of the Year (So Far)
The Sparsholt Affair
, and more.
May 2, 2018
What Is Missing From Rachel Kushner’s New
The Mars Room
? Besides Plot.
It’s fair to want more from a novel than the sensation of nodding your head in agreement.
Apr. 20, 2018
The Stoner Canon: 101 Trippy Movies, Albums, Books, TV Shows, and More
The ultimate guide to experiencing the high.
Apr. 19, 2018
Tells the Origin Stories of 10 Essential Female Critics
Across these portraits it’s possible to trace currents in American literary history as it unfolded between World War I and now.
Mar. 9, 2018
Alan Hollinghurst’s New, Deviously Anti-Sensationalist Gay-Generation-Gap Novel
The way life opens up to one character in a way that it never could for his father is the novel’s real subject.
Feb. 21, 2018
Ismail Kadare’s Long Journey Out of Albania
For a long time, he was the only Albanian writer you could get a hold of in English
Feb. 7, 2018
Lisa Halliday’s Tremendous New Experiment of a Novel
The book is split in two. Which half is “more interesting,” a young woman’s unlikely romance or a young man’s encounter with world affairs?
Feb. 2, 2018
Will Zadie Smith Ever Feel Free?
Her new collection of essays brings to an end a 15-year psychodrama period for her writing.
Jan. 24, 2018
Ursula K. Le Guin Broke Down Walls With Her Writing
Science fiction would never be the same.
Jan. 11, 2018
Denis Johnson Left Us With One Final — and Terrific — Book
With a new, posthumous short-story collection, the author of
still haunts the culture, for good reason.
Dec. 6, 2017
The 10 Best Books of 2017
Including titles by Percival Everett, Patricia Lockwood, and Elif Batuman.
Dec. 1, 2017
The Unending Pleasures of Jenny Diski
The worst thing you can say about personal essayists is that they lack a personality. It’s the opposite with Diski.
Nov. 8, 2017
How Does Susan Sontag’s Fiction Stack Up Against All Her Other Stuff?
I hesitate to call these stories essential, but they are full of optional delights.
Nov. 2, 2017
How Jann Wenner Built His Boomer Empire
Wenner said he started
to meet John Lennon; just as much, he wanted to be Lennon. He came as close as any magazine editor could.
Oct. 25, 2017
How I Became Good at Literary Parties
“The best way to befriend famous people is to have no idea who they are. ”
Oct. 23, 2017
: Jeffrey Eugenides’s Short-Story Sideline
The book is most interesting for the view it affords us of Eugenides absorbing various formal and topical trends.
Sept. 29, 2017
The 15 Best Books of 2017 (So Far)
Including works by Elif Batuman, J. M. Coetzee, and Joan Didion.
Sept. 28, 2017
Jennifer Egan’s Strained New World War II Novel
Veering into the past, she applies a surfeit of artifice in
that erases the authenticity effects she intends.
Sept. 13, 2017
: What Is Kafka Doing in a Most Un-Kafkaesque Novel?
It’s odd to see Philip Roth marshaled, too, to shore up a novel that reads like self-help.
Sept. 6, 2017
Listening to John Ashbery
His death marks a real historical threshold, the passing away of the generation of writers who turned modernism into a tradition.
Sept. 1, 2017
John le Carré’s Spook Cynicism: George Smiley, 56 Years On
Le Carré has always attributed his popularity to the fact that “I was writing for a public that was hooked on Bond and wanted an antidote.”
Aug. 8, 2017
Is a Knockout
The book is a fractured bildungsroman, a gallery of alternate selves.
July 31, 2017
Dystopian Books Are Everywhere This Year
The present moment has created an ambient hunger for alternate realities.
July 25, 2017
In Sally Rooney’s
Conversations With Friends
, the Narrator Strives to Matter
The first novel by the 26-year-old Irish writer wears its influences on its sleeve.
July 6, 2017
Can You Still Write a Novel About Love? Catherine Lacey’s
The marriage plot has yielded to narratives centered on trauma, friendship, and artistic fulfillment.
June 27, 2017
Review: Eugene Lim’s
Engages the Post-Occupy Moment
It’s a novel of ideas, small, elegant ideas about art and protest, and one of the most striking literary works to emerge from the Occupy movement.
June 13, 2017
Review: Francesco Pacifico’s Sharp New Novel Takes on Post-Hipster Williamsburg
The Italian author’s new book does a lot of things you don’t see American novels do much of these days.
June 2, 2017
Review: Percival Everett’s
So Much Blue
Is Winding and Beguiling
At age 61, Everett may have the lowest profile of any major American novelist now in his or her prime.
May 26, 2017
Remembering Denis Johnson
Tree of Smoke
author died this week at the age of 67.
May 22, 2017
What Is It About Haruki Murakami That Mesmerizes People?
In his new collection, he’s up to his old tricks again. But what are they, exactly? And how do they work?
May 14, 2017
How Much Juice Can One Writer Squeeze Out of Male Ugliness?
The Dinner Party
is a parade of jerks who march by one by one.
May 9, 2017
How Good Is
’s List of the Best Young American Novelists?
All hail the new Best Young Americans! They’ll never be young again.
Apr. 25, 2017
, Patricia Lockwood Goes Home to a House ‘Made for Screaming’
The memoir is part origin story, part narrative of the Twitter-poet-goddess’s time in the wilderness.
Apr. 4, 2017
What Happens When Critics Grow Up, and Look Back
Memoirists Daphne Merkin and Lee Siegel built their lives around books. Why?
Mar. 28, 2017
The Lives, and Fictions, of Angela Carter
The Bloody Chamber
and you know right away you’re reading a masterpiece.
Mar. 20, 2017
New York Review of Books
Founder Robert Silvers
A magazine creates its own future by constantly setting an example for the next generation to follow, and Silvers devoted his life to it.