Fiction

RECENT REVIEWS

The House, The Story

The House, The Story

IN THE INTRODUCTION to her 1998 Selected Stories, Alice Munro described the short story as a house the reader explores at will: “You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth a...

Nothing Sublime, Nothing Grandiose

Nothing Sublime, Nothing Grandiose

WHEN THE ENGLISH WRITER Edmund Gosse traveled to Denmark in the early 1870s, he was struck by the peculiarity of the scenery he encountered there. After an initial complaint about the “unexhilarati...

PODCAST #69: Jonathan Lethem

PODCAST #69: Jonathan Lethem

Colin Marshall has an in-depth talk with author Jonathan Lethem, author of novels like Gun, with Occasional Music, Motherless Brooklyn, and The Fortress of Solitude, along with non-fiction collectio...

Wailin and Dreadin

Wailin and Dreadin

THE TITLE at first seems like a cruel undersell. A Brief History of Seven Killings is, in fact, an expansive book of over 700 pages filled with innumerable killings. Stretching from Kingston, Jamaica...

Three Questions for Amy Bloom

Three Questions for Amy Bloom

AMY BLOOM’s new novel, Lucky Us, invites us back to World War II and its aftermath with a fragmented family struggling to retain their bonds during a period of turbulent change. Bloom dishes out her...

Smiley’s Begats

Smiley’s Begats

JANE SMILEY’s novels begin as challenges the author sets herself, and her vision for what these challenges should accomplish is both sweeping in ambition and rigorously detailed. In her Pulitzer Pri...

The Woman Wild

The Woman Wild

IF WE HAVE willfully forgotten how frightening and wild are the female body and consciousness, Marilynne Robinson’s new novel Lila reminds us. The novel returns to the fictional town of Gilead, Iow...

Where We Are for the Time Being with Ruth Ozeki

Where We Are for the Time Being with Ruth Ozeki

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and a Zen Buddhist priest. She is the author of three novels: My Year of Meats (1998), All Over Creation (2003), and A Tale for the Time Being (2013). Her website ...

Troubled Narrators, Troubled Times

Troubled Narrators, Troubled Times

It should be sufficient to say that I am Juan Pablo Castel, the painter who killed Maria Iribarne. I imagine that the trial is still in everyone’s mind and that no further information about myself i...

Whether to Betray Her Country or Her Heart

Whether to Betray Her Country or Her Heart

THE SMALL BUT PROUD nation of Azerbaijan stands at the cusp of Asia and Europe, at the crossroads of Turkish, Persian, and Russian cultures. Ever-besieged by its powerful neighbors, yet ever-determine...

Improbable Journey

Improbable Journey

I CALLED HIM A BASTARD to his bones. “Existimos por culpa de este cabrón,” I said, staring up at the sarcophagus holding the remains of Cristóbal Colón, a.k.a. Christopher Columbus, in the Cat...

Something Rotten in Denmark

Something Rotten in Denmark

I WAS INTRODUCED to Nordic noir in the same way as most readers: someone handed me a copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. When the novel was at the peak of its popularity, I had resisted reading i...

Inadvertent Cruelty

Inadvertent Cruelty

IN ONE OF HIS childhood’s grimmer chapters, the novelist Colm Tóibín and his younger brother, Niall — ages eight and four, respectively — were left to stay with their aunt while their mother ...

Fatally Cleaved

Fatally Cleaved

ONCE, EARLY ON in my waitressing career, while clearing one of my tables, I found a sapphire and diamond ring on the floor. I flirted with the idea of taking the ring — God knows I could’ve used ...