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War, Drugs, and Other Extremes in the Post-Post-9/11 Novel Two recent novels, Ohio and Waiting for Eden, try to keep pace with our state of permanent crisis.
Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s Memoir Is the Sleeper Critical Hit of the Season In our second installment of Lit Parade, a look at a memoir by Steve Jobs’s daughter with literary chops that caught critics by surprise.
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.
Rachel Cusk’s Kudos: 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.
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.
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.
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?
Will Zadie Smith Ever Feel Free? Her new collection of essays brings to an end a 15-year psychodrama period for her writing.
Denis Johnson Left Us With One Final — and Terrific — Book With a new, posthumous short-story collection, the author of Jesus’ Son still haunts the culture, for good reason.
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.
Jennifer Egan’s Strained New World War II Novel Veering into the past, she applies a surfeit of artifice in Manhattan Beach that erases the authenticity effects she intends.
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.
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.”
10 Nonfiction Books to Read at the Beach, As Chosen by Authors The best beach-worthy nonfiction books other writers recommend.
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.
Review: Eugene Lim’s Dear Cyborgs 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Happens When Critics Grow Up, and Look Back Memoirists Daphne Merkin and Lee Siegel built their lives around books. Why?
Ottessa Moshfegh’s Book Homesick for Another World Revels in Flawed Characters Her short-story collection Homesick for Another World draws you in by highlighting humankind’s grotesqueness.
Book Review: Alexandra Kleeman’s Intimations She has a gothic imagination and a wit keen to the absurdities of American culture — particularly its dietary vices and media horror shows.
Jay McInerney’s Yuppie Trilogy Comes to a Close The third volume recapitulates the strongest and weakest aspects of Brightness Falls and The Good Life.
Book Review: What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours The wunderkind author is a prodigious and idiosyncratic talent finding her form in public.
O.J.’s ‘Exact Opposite of Classic,’ If I Did It Revisiting the most deliciously sleazy publishing story of the 21st century.
Diane Williams: Avant-Garde Master of Miniature Fiction It’s hard to summarize any of her stories, and it may be beside the point.
City on Fire Is Trying to Have It Too Many Ways The year’s biggest debut says a lot about what sort of story New York publishers and Hollywood think they can sell.
The Very Public Saga of Karl Ove Knausgaard Writing About Himself His latest Volume 4: Dancing in the Dark is a lesser work than the first two books (though better than the third).
Book Review: Schulz on The Sixth Extinction A book that is both serious-minded and invites exclamation points into its margins.
Kathryn Schulz on Doctor Sleep Once it stops being bad, how good is it?
Schulz on Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie America’s awkward dance around race, through the eyes of a Nigerian novelist and her characters.
Book Review: The Riddle of the Labyrinth It’s about, among other things, history, mythology, ancient civilizations, linguistics, puzzles, code-breaking, Homer, Arthur Conan Doyle, and brainy female academics.
Schulz on Anne Carson’s Time-Traveling, Mind-Bending Red Doc> This sequel, of sorts, to Autobiography of Red is sadder than its predecessor, and stranger, too.
Kathryn Schulz on Amity Gaige’s Novel Schroder “It’s a mark of how good Schroder is that, upon finishing it, I immediately went out and read the rest of her work.”
Book Review: Schulz on Zadie Smith’s NW She’s pointing her literary compass in a new direction.