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- Aug 21 20161 minute
Literature’s Very Worst Endings
SADIE STEIN ENDINGS ARE VERY, VERY HARD—the greater question is less why books disappoint than why any succeed. Each of these is a good book written by someone of great skill who, for whatever reason, choked, rushed, or otherwise ran a narrative off
- Jan 25 20173 minutes
1984 Isn’t the Only Book Enjoying a Revival
Works by Sinclair Lewis, John Steinbeck, and Hannah Arendt have also had a spike in interest over the past year.
- Feb 5 20175 minutes
1 “If the campaign estranged Kushner from the privileged world he once inhabited, the election represented a conclusive break,” wrote Andrew Rice in his profile of Donald Trump’s son-in-law turned shadow campaign manager, Jared Kushner (“The Young Tr
- Jan 17 20178 minutes
The Oa And The Dark Side Of Science
Brit Marling discusses the folklore and real-life research that went into her trippy Netflix series.
- Jan 5 20175 minutes
Pop Culture Is Having a Metaphysical Moment
The OA, Westworld, Stranger Things, and other recent works toy with the idea of multiple realities—and bring the thrill of new religion.
- Feb 5 20175 minutes
What Happened To Paul Auster?
A decade ago, he was a Nobel contender.
- Jan 22 20171 minute
Obama Lit 101: Further Reading
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P 2013 In the Brooklyn milieu of Ivy League and Oberlinish grads, the question is whether a durable relationship in a free romantic market can be made strictly on the basis of intellectual résumés. Adelle Waldman’s meri
- Oct 3 20161 minute
With a Little Help, You Too Can Write a Young-Adult Novel
KIRSTEN SALYER THE BOOKS WE READ WHEN WE’RE young have a special sort of power: they can inspire us to be brave and resilient (Matilda by Roald Dahl), take us on thrilling adventures (Divergent by Veronica Roth) and even introduce us to tragedy (The
- Jan 22 201715 minutes
The Novel In The Age Of Obama
What the standout fiction of the last eight years can tell us about an art form, and a country, in flux.
- Jan 16 20172 minutes
When Less Plot Is Actually More
AFTER WRITING SEVEN NOVELS AND three works of nonfiction, acclaimed British author Rachel Cusk began to find fiction “fake and embarrassing.” Two years ago, she explained to a British newspaper, “Once you have suffered sufficiently, the idea of makin
- Dec 21 20168 minutes
The Best Books We Missed in 2016
And the titles their authors say they loved
- Aug 21 20161 minute
How Much Does It Matter, Anyway?
FOR 60-PLUS YEARS, the Paris Review has asked writers just what they do every day. Judging from the excerpts below, a whole lot of them spend their time thinking—and arguing—about plot.
- Aug 21 20162 minutes
The History of Plot
Let’s start from the beginning (the Western beginning, anyway).
- Nov 28 20161 minute
What’s in Eddie Redmayne’s Library
Eddie Redmayne may be the star of the Harry Potter prequel film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but his literary tastes are not confined to J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. The actor tells TIME his list of favorites includes a historical acco
- Oct 1 20163 minutes
A Brief History Of Handwriting
Madison Pauly 3200 B.C.: With stylus and clay tablets, ancient Mesopotamians create abstract symbols to represent syllables of their spoken language. 600s: Quill pens and parchment paper take hold in Europe. Drippy ink discourages pen lifting, henc
- Nov 14 20163 minutes
The Real Elena Ferrante Surfaces—in Books
BIG-NAME BOOK RELEASES ARE typically greeted with fanfare and enthusiasm. Midnight Harry Potter release parties? Sure. International book tours that keep authors on the road for months? Yep. The dual publication of Elena Ferrante’s Frantumaglia, her
- Jan 4 20179 minutes
Opening Paragraphs Don’t Always Have to Be Exciting
The author Emily Ruskovich discusses the uncanny restraint of Alice Munro and the art of starting a short story.
- Dec 5 20164 minutes
Westworld and the False Promise of Storytelling
The HBO drama’s finale hinted at a dark, meta message.
- Feb 15 201710 minutes
George Saunders on Chekhov's Different Visions of Happiness
The Lincoln in the Bardo author dissects the Russian writer’s masterful meditations on beauty and sorrow in the short story “Gooseberries,” and explains the importance of questioning your stance while writing.
- Dec 26 20138 minutes
In Science Fiction, We Are Never Home: Where technology leads to exile and yearning.
Halfway through director Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, Sandra Bullock suffers the most cosmic case of homesick blues since Keir Dullea was hurled toward the infinite in 2001: A Space Odyssey nearly half a century ago. For Bullock, home is (as it was for
- Dec 13 20168 minutes
Making Art At The Painful Margins
What the violent suffering in Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot taught the author Laurie Sheck about finding inspiration in torment and illness
- Sep 26 20161 minute
A Death in the Family Inspires Two Works of Art
RADHIKA JONES THE PARTY SCENE THAT OPENS Ann Patchett’s new novel unspools like a home movie. A lawyer from the L.A. district attorney’s office, Albert Cousins, crashes the christening celebration of baby Frances, second daughter of L.A. cop Fix Kea
- Oct 1 20164 minutes
Does the World Really Need Nation-States?
To CHIGOZIE OBIOMA, there is more to writing fiction than crafting engaging characters and plots. Writers, he says, have an opportunity to assess and critique the world in which they live. The 2015 Global Thinker’s debut novel, The Fishermen, is a do
- Jan 9 20175 minutes
When Narrative Matters More Than Fact
A teacher argues that helping students analyze the stories they care so much about is more effective than pushing pure fact-checking.
- Nov 14 20161 minute
Crimes of the Heart
S.B. Like many of his novels, Spanish author Javier Marías’ new book, Thus Bad Begins, isn’t exactly a mystery, though it is mysterious. Here, the 65-year-old perennial Nobel favorite tells the story of Juan de Vere, a young man working for a film d
- Jan 30 20178 minutes
Why It Took So Long to Translate a Dutch Classic
When it was published in 1947, Gerard Reve’s The Evenings was considered shocking for its portrayal of youth in a postwar Netherlands. Now beloved in its home country, the novel is arriving stateside for the first time.
- Apr 1 20155 minutes
From Bedtime to the Boardroom: Why Storytelling Matters in Business
These innovators are connecting with consumers, colleagues and investors on an emotional level.
- Aug 21 20165 minutes
Is It Story That Makes Us Read?
Plots: the who, what, and where—but maybe not why—of literature.
- Apr 1 20161 minute
Make Your Mark: Branding Is About What You Say, Not How You Say It
It can be funny or serious, but your brand has to be authentically you.
- Aug 8 20162 minutes
Rumaan Alam, Author
The D.C.-born, New York City–dwelling Alam took “Write what you know” and tipped it sideways for his fun but trenchant summer novel, Rich and Pretty, starring two young women, lots of beautiful furniture and our notions of class