The Paris Review7 min read
On Line: The Pulse of Agnes Martin
John Vincler’s column “Brush Strokes” examines what is it that we can find in paintings in our increasingly digital world.  Agnes Martin, Innocent Love, 1999. Dia Art Foundation; Partial gift, Lannan Foundation 2013. © 2019 Agnes Martin Artists Right
The Paris Review13 min read
Failing the Driving Test with Kevin Barry
Kevin Barry is widely recognized as one of the most gifted fiction writers to emerge from the English-speaking world in the new century. Five years ago, a critic in the Montreal Gazette spoke of a growing view that in him, “an heir to the great Irish
The Paris Review16 min read
What Susan Sontag Saw
Susan Sontag. Photo: © Lynn Gilbert (CC BY-SA 4.0 ( In January 1919, in a dry riverbed north of Los Angeles, a cast of thousands gathered to re-create a contemporary horror. Based on a book published a
The Paris Review5 min read
The Obsessive Fictions of László Krasznahorkai
Read our Art of Fiction interview with László Krasznahorkai in the Summer 2018 issue The playful, pessimistic fictions of the Hungarian novelist László Krasznahorkai emit a recognizably entropic music. His novels—equal parts artful attenuation and d
The Paris Review8 min read
Books Won’t Die
Illustration by Albert Robida, for “The End of the Books,” by Octave Uzanne, published in Scribner’s Magazine, vol. 16, no 2, August 1894. Public domain. Increasingly, people of the book are also people of the cloud. At the Codex Hackathon, a convent
The Paris Review2 min read
Redux: Lies That Have Hardened
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 Review21 min read
The Drama of Conflict
I am often confused, having been abused as a child, as to why I have chosen to spend my life writing about conflict. You would think that as an adult I would want to run as far away from conflict as possible, and in many ways I have done just that. I
The Paris Review8 min read
The Gift of Lewis Hyde’s ‘The Gift’
Lewis Hyde photo: Ruben Cox. Gifts pass from hand to hand: they endure through such transmission, as every time a gift is given it is enlivened and regenerated through the new spiritual life it engenders both in the giver and in the receiver. And so
The Paris Review9 min read
Consider the Butt
François Boucher, L’Odalisque Brune (cropped), 1743 The elevator doors opened onto a loft-like space throbbing with music. Organizers in T-shirts that read ASK ME ANYTHING ABOUT MY BUTTHOLE were setting up booths by the entrance, helping a strange pa
The Paris Review8 min read
The Jets, The Bills, And The Art Of Losing
Our favorite poet/sports correspondent is back, this time with some very strong feelings about football. Photo: Rowan Ricardo Phillips “We’re from Buffalo. Obviously. That’s why we’re driving through this tunnel with you.” It was Sunday, around noon
The Paris Review5 min read
Staff Picks: Metaphors, Messengers, and Melancholy
Jacqueline Novak. Photo: Monique Carboni. Everything about the comedian Jacqueline Novak’s Off-Broadway stand-up show—recently extended through October 6—is clever, beginning with the title: Get on Your Knees. Before the curtain rises in the West Vil
The Paris Review13 min read
Cooking with Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
In Valerie Stivers’s Eat Your Words series, she cooks up recipes drawn from the works of various writers. It has long been a dream of mine to steal or reprise the premise of a column called War Nerd, which ran in the English-language Moscow newspape
The Paris Review8 min read
Re-Covered: Margaret Drabble’s 1977 Brexit Novel
Margaret Drabble is so well known that seeing her included in this column might confuse some readers. Writing in the New York Times only two years ago, when Drabble’s most recent novel, The Dark Flood Rises, was published, Cynthia Ozick described the
The Paris Review7 min read
Who Was My Mother?
© somemeans / Adobe Stock. I’ve lived in a garage, a dormitory, a screened-in porch, and more than one basement. I’ve owned three houses. After my divorce and the divestiture of common property, I moved into a small second-floor apartment in a large
The Paris Review5 min read
Six Young Women and Their Book Collections
In 2017, Honey & Wax Booksellers established an annual prize for American women book collectors, aged thirty years and younger. The idea took shape when Heather O’Donnell and Rebecca Romney, the bookstore’s owners, observed that “the women who regula
The Paris Review6 min read
Artworks in the Room Where I Write
Diane Williams’s story “Garden Magic” appears in our Fall 2019 issue. We asked her to give us a tour of the objects in her office. The artworks in the room where I write inhabit my fiction everywhere, and those of them that are not explicitly conju
The Paris Review6 min read
The Sticky Tar Pit of Time
A cat running. Collotype after Eadweard Muybridge, 1887. Credit: Wellcome Collection, via Wikimedia Commons. This morning—that morning, rather—two men in my train carriage lift their heads—two men in their fifties in silky, understated ties—then ther
The Paris Review2 min read
Redux: Volume and Color
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
We Labor under Tyrants: An Interview with Jesse Ball
Jesse Ball (Photo: Joe Lieske) Jesse Ball is an absurdist writer. His latest work, The Divers’ Game, set in a world much like our own, examines what happens when the lives of others are seen as disposable and small measures of kindness are largely ab
The Paris Review18 min read
The Joys of the Italian Short Story
One evening in Rome, in the kitchen of the Italian writer Caterina Bonvicini, I expressed a desire to assemble a collection of Italian short stories translated into English. It was March of 2016, during a brief trip back to Italy. Six months before,
The Paris Review7 min read
The Currency of Tears
Sabrina Orah Mark’s monthly column, Happily, focuses on fairy tales and motherhood. One day in nursery school, when I was five I think, I cried. My teacher, in her floral apron with gigantic pockets, handed me a paper cup. She handed me a paper cup,
The Paris Review5 min read
One Thousand and One Nights
Henry Fuseli, The Nightmare, 1781, oil on canvas, 40″ x 50″. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. “I hate running.” My oldest daughter might quit soccer. I start to defend running, though running, to me, is always as in a dream, legs stuck in quicks
The Paris Review4 min read
A Very Short List of Very Short Novels with Very Short Commentary
In her Art of Fiction interview in our new Fall issue, Alice McDermott reveals that she is currently at work on a very short novel. The format has long intrigued her, and she has taught a class on the subject to her M.F.A. students at Johns Hopkins U
The Paris Review5 min read
Staff Picks: Men-Children, Motown, and Middle Age
Jennifer Croft. Of late, I’ve encountered a cluster of victorious, independent teens in my reading. In Tara Westover’s Educated, Tara splits from her Idaho family’s abuse to thrive in the British education system. In Lara Prior-Palmer’s Rough Magic,
The Paris Review10 min read
Does Poetry Have Street Cred?
Major Jackson photo: © Erin Patrice O’Brien. Does American poetry suffer from an abundance of artistic dignity and not enough street credibility? It’s possible. When I asked a friend, a terrific prose writer, why she seems to have a slight disdain fo
The Paris Review10 min read
The Uncanny Child
On Linda Boström Knausgård’s novella Welcome to America and the end of childhood. Still from Village of the Damned (1960) Every night when I was a child, my mother asked me to set the table before dinner. I came to believe that if there was anything
The Paris Review7 min readPsychology
The Clarity of Violence
On rereading Don DeLillo’s White Noise, and confronting the trauma of sexual assault. The morning after I was raped, nearly eight years ago, I got in my car and drove home. There, in my teenage bedroom, I took the pair of tights I’d been wearing the
The Paris Review7 min read
Poetry Rx: The Radiant Bodies of the Dead
In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This month, Claire Schwartz is on the line. Dear Poets,   I lost
The Paris Review4 min read
Blue Alabama
Andrew Moore, Yolanda Walker at The Purple Bowl, Pink Bottom, 2018. There are others who are not remembered, as if they had never lived, who died and were forgotten, they, and their children after them. —Sirach 44:9 Alabama, the place in Andrew Moore
The Paris Review12 min read
The American Rodeo
Over the last couple months, I’ve been on a quest for the American summer, and right now, I’m on my way to the Greater Midwestern Rodeo, puttering across the interstate in search of Portage, Wisconsin. I also have non-rodeo-related reasons for ventur
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