Christian Lorentzen

  1. books
    Elif Batuman: ‘Email Enabled a Whole New Kind of Pretentiousness’“Email enabled a whole new kind of pretentiousness.”
  2. books
    When Joan Didion Visited the South in 1970Failure is part of the origin myth of New Journalism.
  3. Is Apathy the Key to J.M. Coetzee?It’s an astonishing idea—apathy as a source of, not an obstacle to, seriousness.
  4. Ottessa Moshfegh’s Book Homesick for Another World Revels in Flawed CharactersHer short-story collection Homesick for Another World draws you in by highlighting humankind’s grotesqueness.
  5. George Saunders’s New Novel — His First — Is Very, Very WeirdIt’s narrated by a gaggle of ghosts speaking to us from the Tibetan Buddhist limbo.
  6. What Happened to Paul Auster? A Decade Ago, He Was a Nobel Candidate.Did he change, or did we?
  7. the obama years
    Considering the Novel in the Age of ObamaWhat the standout fiction of the last eight years can tell us about an art form, and a country, in flux.
  8. What’s the Line Between Criticism and the Novel?What happens to criticism when it’s placed within a work of fiction?
  9. year in culture 2016
    The 10 Best Books of 2016No. 1: The Underground Railroad.
  10. Michael Chabon’s OSS Fantasia ‘Memoir’In Moonglow, Chabon goes for the shapelessness of the real.
  11. Zadie Smith’s Swing Time: What Is Fame For?Smith has responded to it by becoming a shape-shifter, a chameleon of the varieties of seriousness.
  12. Who Nominates Writers for the Nobel Prize?Previous Nobelists (among a few other people).
  13. What Can We Possibly Learn About Elena Ferrante?The main effect of Gatti’s report is to ruin the fun.
  14. book review
    Book Review: Alexandra Kleeman’s IntimationsShe has a gothic imagination and a wit keen to the absurdities of American culture — particularly its dietary vices and media horror shows.
  15. If This Fetus Could Talk: McEwan’s Drab NutshellHis glum prose may make the author of Atonement the perfect English writer.
  16. How Colson Whitehead Got From Zombies to SlaveryThe novel is a major departure for him.
  17. fall preview 2016
    What Vulture’s Critics Are Most Excited for This FallTheir top five picks for the season.
  18. Here I Am: Jonathan Safran Foer Tries to Grow UpThe result is something like a Philip Roth novel in the style of a Hallmark card.
  19. how to plot a novel
    Is It Story That Makes Us Read?Plots: the who, what, and where — but maybe not why — of literature. Plus, the history of plot and literature’s very worst endings.
  20. book review
    Jay McInerney’s Yuppie Trilogy Comes to a CloseThe third volume recapitulates the strongest and weakest aspects of Brightness Falls and The Good Life.
  21. publishing
    When Will Helen DeWitt Be Recognized As One of the Great American Novelists?A flood of bad luck has kept her debut The Last Samurai out of print. Will a new edition finally change things?
  22. When Will Helen DeWitt Be Recognized As One of the Great American Novelists?A flood of bad luck has kept her debut The Last Samurai out of print. Will a new edition finally change things?
  23. best of 2016
    The Best Books of 2016 (So Far)Including titles by Emma Cline, Don DeLillo, and Helen Oyeyemi.
  24. prolificity
    A Complete Guide to Entertainment’s Busiest CreatorsThe methods, meaning, and occasional madness of the creatively super-productive.
  25. Homegoing: Yaa Gyasi’s Rich, Epic Slave-Trade DebutHomegoing repeatedly enacts one of the the novel’s classic missions.
  26. book review
    Emma Cline’s Masterful (and Quite Traditional) Manson-Family Debut NovelPastoral, marriage plot, crime story.
  27. on grammar
    Could We Just Lose the Adverb (Already)?A part of speech with all of these functions can’t possibly do all of them well. 
  28. books
    The Genius of Don DeLillo’s Post-Underworld WorkIn his new novel Zero K, the 79-year-old has built a temple to house all his ghosts.
  29. In Defense of PretentiousnessEveryone has things that set them off, and whatever we dislike we often just choose to call pretentious.
  30. book review
    Book Review: What Is Not Yours Is Not YoursThe wunderkind author is a prodigious and idiosyncratic talent finding her form in public.
  31. Alex Abramovich Among the Thugs Bullies is a biker memoir, but it’s not a heartwarming tale of self-discovery via leather and chrome.
  32. Dana Spiotta’s Universe of Second SelvesInnocents and Others is an asymmetrical novel told in fragments; frustrating readerly expectations is one of Spiotta’s intentions.
  33. The First Great Millennial NovelSocial novelists who place limits on their internet access now do so at their own peril.
  34. On Criticism: My Road Trip With A.O. ScottI arrived at his house in Prospect–Lefferts Gardens around 8:15, and we set out in his blue Subaru.
  35. O.J.’s ‘Exact Opposite of Classic,’ If I Did ItRevisiting the most deliciously sleazy publishing story of the 21st century.
  36. book review
    Diane Williams: Avant-Garde Master of Miniature FictionIt’s hard to summarize any of her stories, and it may be beside the point.
  37. Garth Greenwell’s Exquisite, Humorless New NovelI’ve rarely come upon a book, like this one, about which it can be said that humorlessness is not a defect but an aesthetic necessity.
  38. Elizabeth Strout’s Not-at-All-Subtle New NovelIt’s impossible not to feel some sympathy for the narrator of Elizabeth Strout’s new novel My Name Is Lucy Barton.
  39. Elliott Chaze’s Black Wings Has My Angel Is a Perfect Crime NovelComing to the book 60 years after it first appeared, you’ll find yourself wondering why it never got made into a movie.
  40. Can Short Stories Still Shock?Modes once heralded as avant-garde now linger among the array of strategies available to any writer.
  41. year in culture 2015
    The 10 Best Books of 2015Where will Ta-Nehisi Coates take us next?
  42. My Chat With Knausgaard (Not Just About Hitler)The Norwegian novelist on European refugees, Hitler, and his own Argentinian dream.
  43. 17 Reviews of Opening Lines of New BooksHow fair is it to judge a book by its opening? We’re doing it anyway.
  44. What to Make of Michel Houellebecq’s Caliphate Fantasia SubmissionAlready the novel has been said to represent about a thousand different things.
  45. sylvia plath
    Do We Have a New Sylvia Plath Sex Scandal?The London literary world is genuinely atwitter.
  46. Obama As Book Critic: the President on Marilynne RobinsonAs an interviewer, Obama has a touch of “The Chris Farley Show” about him.
  47. Why Are Today’s Critics So Defensive?We’re in an age of ambient anxiety about what it means to enjoy things and whether or not others enjoy them, too.
  48. ‘I Won the Nobel Prize!’An interview with the translator of the new Nobel laureate.
  49. My Book-Prize Betting Addiction: A User’s Guide to Making Money Off Alice MunroUnlike most gambling addicts, I’m still in the black.
  50. book review
    City on Fire Is Trying to Have It Too Many WaysThe year’s biggest debut says a lot about what sort of story New York publishers and Hollywood think they can sell.
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