MOST RECENT ARTICLES BY:

Christian Lorentzen

  1. best of 2018
    The 10 Best Books of 2018Reinvented auto-fiction from Heti and Cusk, gripping essays, wild tales of Russia and opioids, and final stories from the late master Denis Johnson.
  2. book review
    War, Drugs, and Other Extremes in the Post-Post-9/11 NovelTwo recent novels, Ohio and Waiting for Eden, try to keep pace with our state of permanent crisis.
  3. lit parade
    The Books Most Everyone Will Be Arguing About This FallIn a special, forward-looking seasonal edition of Lit Parade.
  4. close reads
    Helen DeWitt’s 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.
  5. obituaries
    Remembering V.S. Naipaul, a Pioneer of Postcolonial LiteratureThe author died this weekend at 85.
  6. Nico Walker’s Cherry Might Be the First Great Novel of the Opioid EpidemicIt is also one of the best war novels written in a generation.
  7. 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.
  8. book review
    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.
  9. What Sy Hersh KnowsAn unsummarizable interview with the inimitable investigative journalist and raconteur of the American national security state.
  10. book review
    Rachel Cusk’s Kudos: The Outline Trilogy Gets Its Third MasterpieceVoice 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.
  11. What James Wood the Critic Would Make of James Wood the NovelistThe question is just as interesting posed the opposite way.
  12. books
    There Were Many Philip RothsWe remember the slab of liver and the sex, but Roth probably contemplated death more than any writer after Tolstoy.
  13. remembrances
    Tom Wolfe’s Path to ImmortalityNow Wolfe is dead and one wonders what color suit he’ll be buried in, because cremation wouldn’t do.
  14. Sheila Heti, Ben Lerner, Tao Lin: How ‘Auto’ Is ‘Autofiction’?And what’s more important, the auto or the fiction?
  15. The Best Books of the Year (So Far)The Sparsholt Affair, Asymmetry, Motherhood, and more.
  16. book review
    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.
  17. vulture lists
    The Stoner Canon: 101 Trippy Movies, Albums, Books, TV Shows, and MoreThe ultimate guide to experiencing the high.
  18. Michelle Dean’s Sharp Tells the Origin Stories of 10 Essential Female CriticsAcross these portraits it’s possible to trace currents in American literary history as it unfolded between World War I and now.
  19. books
    Alan Hollinghurst’s New, Deviously Anti-Sensationalist Gay-Generation-Gap NovelThe way life opens up to one character in a way that it never could for his father is the novel’s real subject.
  20. Ismail Kadare’s Long Journey Out of AlbaniaFor a long time, he was the only Albanian writer you could get a hold of in English
  21. Lisa Halliday’s Tremendous New Experiment of a NovelThe 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?
  22. books
    Will Zadie Smith Ever Feel Free?Her new collection of essays brings to an end a 15-year psychodrama period for her writing.
  23. Ursula K. Le Guin Broke Down Walls With Her WritingScience fiction would never be the same.
  24. books
    Denis Johnson Left Us With One Final — and Terrific — BookWith a new, posthumous short-story collection, the author of Jesus’ Son still haunts the culture, for good reason.
  25. The 10 Best Books of 2017Including titles by Percival Everett, Patricia Lockwood, and Elif Batuman.
  26. The Unending Pleasures of Jenny DiskiThe worst thing you can say about personal essayists is that they lack a personality. It’s the opposite with Diski.
  27. 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.
  28. How Jann Wenner Built His Boomer EmpireWenner said he started Rolling Stone to meet John Lennon; just as much, he wanted to be Lennon. He came as close as any magazine editor could.
  29. literary life
    How I Became Good at Literary Parties“The best way to befriend famous people is to have no idea who they are. ”
  30. Fresh Complaint: Jeffrey Eugenides’s Short-Story SidelineThe book is most interesting for the view it affords us of Eugenides absorbing various formal and topical trends.
  31. The 15 Best Books of 2017 (So Far)Including works by Elif Batuman, J. M. Coetzee, and Joan Didion.
  32. Jennifer Egan’s Strained New World War II NovelVeering into the past, she applies a surfeit of artifice in Manhattan Beach that erases the authenticity effects she intends.
  33. book review
    Nicole Krauss’s Forest Dark: 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.
  34. Listening to John AshberyHis death marks a real historical threshold, the passing away of the generation of writers who turned modernism into a tradition.
  35. John le Carré’s Spook Cynicism: George Smiley, 56 Years OnLe 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.”
  36. Jenny Zhang’s Sour Heart Is a KnockoutThe book is a fractured bildungsroman, a gallery of alternate selves.
  37. Dystopian Books Are Everywhere This YearThe present moment has created an ambient hunger for alternate realities.
  38. book review
    In Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends, the Narrator Strives to MatterThe first novel by the 26-year-old Irish writer wears its influences on its sleeve.
  39. Can You Still Write a Novel About Love? Catherine Lacey’s The AnswersThe marriage plot has yielded to narratives centered on trauma, friendship, and artistic fulfillment.
  40. book review
    Review: Eugene Lim’s Dear Cyborgs Engages the Post-Occupy MomentIt’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.
  41. book review
    Review: Francesco Pacifico’s Sharp New Novel Takes on Post-Hipster WilliamsburgThe Italian author’s new book does a lot of things you don’t see American novels do much of these days.
  42. book review
    Review: Percival Everett’s So Much Blue Is Winding and BeguilingAt age 61, Everett may have the lowest profile of any major American novelist now in his or her prime.
  43. obits
    Remembering Denis JohnsonThe Tree of Smoke author died this week at the age of 67.
  44. 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?
  45. book review
    How Much Juice Can One Writer Squeeze Out of Male Ugliness?Joshua Ferris’s The Dinner Party is a parade of jerks who march by one by one.
  46. How Good Is Granta’s List of the Best Young American Novelists?All hail the new Best Young Americans! They’ll never be young again.
  47. In Priestdaddy, 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.
  48. book review
    What Happens When Critics Grow Up, and Look BackMemoirists Daphne Merkin and Lee Siegel built their lives around books. Why?
  49. The Lives, and Fictions, of Angela CarterOpen The Bloody Chamber and you know right away you’re reading a masterpiece.
  50. obits
    Remembering New York Review of Books Founder Robert SilversA magazine creates its own future by constantly setting an example for the next generation to follow, and Silvers devoted his life to it.
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