The Paris Review6 min read
What We Deserve
Family photograph courtesy Angie Cruz My mother, Dania, is eleven in this photograph. It was taken in the Dominican Republic in 1965, four years before my father married her and then brought her to New York City, separating her from her family. Her p
The Paris Review5 min read
How to Really Listen to Music
An untrained listener’s guide. During my hour-long commute home from work, when I’m too tired to even listen to podcasts, I listen to music. More often than might be healthy, I listen to Lana Del Rey, as she cycles through her doomy refrains about h
The Paris Review10 min read
Unmapped
Surveyor’s map of the Orangedale subdivision, New Orleans East, 1949. From high up, fifteen thousand feet above, where the aerial photographs are taken, 4121 Wilson Avenue, the address I know best, is a minuscule point, a scab of green. In satellite
The Paris Review13 min read
Dislocated Realities: A Conversation between Helen Phillips and Laura Van Den Berg
Helen Phillips (left) and Laura Van Den berg (right) When an early copy of Helen Phillips’s new novel, The Need, turned up at my apartment, I had not read a book in two months. I had been unable to read, in fact. My father had died recently and each
The Paris Review8 min readPsychology
Sartre’s Bad Trip
Beyond their visual qualities, mescaline’s hallucinations posed profound philosophical questions. During the mid-1930s three prominent writers and thinkers left records of their experiments with it. In 1934 and 1935 respectively, Walter Benjamin and
The Paris Review2 min read
Redux: Another Joke-Legend
Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Re
The Paris Review11 min read
Yukio Mishima in Ichigaya
Yukio Mishima delivers a speech shortly before his death. Via Wikimedia Commons. A city always keeps part of itself back. If Tokyo were a clock, then the hours between ten and midnight—the arc running from Shinjuku through Ikebukuro to Tabata—and I w
The Paris Review9 min read
On Breakups
Hanif Abdurraqib’s monthly column, Notes on Pop, muses on the relationship between songs and memory. Read more here.  Still from HAIM’s “Want You Back” During my craft talk about poems and sound, I play small parts of songs or music videos. I’m givin
The Paris Review10 min read
Fra Angelico’s Divine Emotion
The fifteenth-century Italian artist Fra Angelico invented emotional interiority in art; laid the stylistic groundwork for Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Mark Rothko; and theorized a utopian world, one in which everything and everyone is ultima
The Paris Review5 min read
Staff Picks: Cranberries, Canzones, and Catharsis
Téa Obreht. Photo: Ilan Harel. Many things will be said about Inland, Téa Obreht’s second novel. I can only hope to settle my tent with the believers. A Western as far as the eye can see, Inland starts with lickins and bounties and ends with them, to
The Paris Review2 min read
On Proverbs
Walter Benjamin’s membership card from the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Take, as a foundation, the image of women carrying full, heavy vessels on their heads without using their hands. The rhythm in which th
The Paris Review6 min read
The Real Pirates of the Caribbean
Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland cast a profound, immersive spell on me as a boy, years before the movies existed. The raft floats past a fake Louisiana plantation, where no slaves are bought
The Paris Review5 min read
Three Letters from Switzerland
Between June 1930 and August 1931, after a series of mental health episodes had whittled away at her career, her marriage, and her overall well-being, Zelda Fitzgerald was a patient at Les Rives de Prangins, a clinic in Nyon, Switzerland, where she w
The Paris Review7 min read
Rumple. Stilt. And Skin.
Sabrina Orah Mark’s monthly column, Happily, focuses on fairy tales and motherhood. “I hope you’re not afraid of mice,” my friend Amy says. I am in her car. She clicks open the glove box and a soft shock of fur and paper and string is gently exhaled
The Paris Review7 min read
García Márquez’s Five Favorite Cocktail Stories
On the occasion of an exhibition dedicated to Gabriel García Márquez in Bogotá, Colombia, Santiago Mutis Durán, the son of Márquez’s close friend Álvaro Mutis, gathered together small author-less stories that Márquez had written down or told over the
The Paris Review12 min read
What Thom Gunn Thought of Oliver Sacks
Thom Gunn, left, in 1960 at Hampstead-White Stone Pond. Oliver Sacks, right, with his beloved BMW motorbike at Muscle Beach. Courtesy of the Oliver Sacks Foundation. Photo taken from Sacks’s memoir On the Move. Back in the early eighties, when I firs
The Paris Review2 min read
Redux: Helpless Failed Brake
Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Re
The Paris Review9 min read
For The Love Of Orange
Paul Gauguin, Still life with Oranges, 1881 Something odd happened to me in late 2017: I became enamored with the color orange. That fall, I’d met someone, and orange was appearing everywhere, like some kind of hallucinatory sign. It sped by on the s
The Paris Review9 min read
Death Valley
Hiroshige, New Year’s Eve Foxfires at the Changing Tree, Ōji, 1857. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. My grandfather Midori wanted to return, after death, to the desert. He wanted his ashes scattered in Death Valley. On November 9, 1996, we gathe
The Paris Review5 min read
The Literary Marmoset
Crop of cover, Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury, by Sigrid Nunez For all the High Modern sophistication of the writers who made up the Bloomsbury set in England in the early 1900s, there remains something creaturely about the collective. It is as if,
The Paris Review2 min readFood & Wine
Writers’ Fridges: Téa Obreht
Our fridge tends to be bursting with bags of fruit and vegetables and arugula that will super-definitely be eaten before it wilts; but on the occasion of this particular photograph, taken the morning after my return from summer in Wyoming (before whi
The Paris Review2 min read
Don’t Eat and Read
Walter Benjamin, 1928. Courtesy of the Walter Benjamin Archive at Akademie der Künste, via Wikimedia Commons. All books should not be read in the same way. Novels, for instance, are there to be devoured. Reading them is a voluptuous act of absorption
The Paris Review11 min read
David Foster Wallace’s Pen Pal
Photo © Giovanni Giovannetti/Effigie On the morning of January 12, 2010, Susan Barnett and Greg Delisle said goodbye to their three dogs, closed the door of their Cape Cod–style farmhouse in rural upstate New York, and got in their car to go to jobs
The Paris Review4 min read
David Berman, Slacker God
Pour another gallon into the bucket of our national grief, David Berman is gone. The poet and front man of the Silver Jews was fifty-two. The phrase national grief is Berman-esque, though municipal grief or federal grief would be even better. I was i
The Paris Review7 min readFood & Wine
The Caribbean’s Deadliest Fruit: A Taste Test
In Jonathan Escoffery’s story, “Under the Ackee Tree,” which appears in our Summer 2019 issue, the protagonist, homesick for Jamaica, attempts to grow an ackee tree in his Miami backyard. No amount of water or fertilizer will make the seeds sprout. A
The Paris Review5 min read
Whither The Golden Penetrators?
Still from Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood In Los Angeles, 1968, Dennis Wilson was the beachiest of the Beach Boys, the only Boy who actually surfed. He was the cool guy with the cool car, cool shades, cool hair. When he admired his disheveled reflect
The Paris Review12 min read
The Double Life of Karolina Pavlova
Karolina Pavlova. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. In the nineteenth century, when its literature equaled that written in any place at any time in history, Russia had no “great” woman writer—no Sappho, no Ono, no Komachi or Murasaki Shikibu, no
The Paris Review11 min read
Please Fire Jia Tolentino
Jia Tolentino. Photo: © Elena Mudd. Is there any topic Jia Tolentino can’t tackle? Since becoming a staff writer for The New Yorker in 2016, she’s written features about the electronic cigarette brand Juul and the culty athleisure company Outdoor Voi
The Paris Review8 min read
Remembering Toni
Fran Lebowitz, Danez Smith, and Pam Houston reflect on the impact Toni Morrison had on their lives.  Toni Morrison (Photo © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders) I met Toni in 1974. The Academy of American Poets sent me a letter. They had a reading series wher
The Paris Review2 min read
Redux: The Thread of the Story
Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Re
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