Literary Fiction

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No Bible Without the Devil

No Bible Without the Devil

JUST AFTER ONE in the morning on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2004, two teenage cellmates at the Preston Youth Correctional Facility in Ione, California, were found hanged from their bedframe by the...

I Spy: Unraveling the Secrets of Adulthood

I Spy: Unraveling the Secrets of Adulthood

[Note: We've simultaneously published a video interview with Mona Simpson at the LA Times Festival of Books] CHILDREN ARE forever trying to unlock the codes and secrets of the adult world, and, bef...

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 ...

Stream of Pre-Consciousness

Stream of Pre-Consciousness

“Please tell me you love me. You sleep. You sleeping. When I know. I think your face the very best. When we were we were we were young. When you were little and I was girl. Once upon a time.” (A G...

The Pleasures and Perils of Reading Jim Krusoe

The Pleasures and Perils of Reading Jim Krusoe

Spinner gave me a funny look. [...] “The yogurt business is not for sissies Jonathon, but if you treat it well it will treat you well in turn.” — Jim Krusoe, Girl Factory, Tin House Press, 2008...

Portrait of a Ghost

Portrait of a Ghost

SIGIZMUND KRZHIZHANOVSKY may be the best-known unknown writer of his generation. Since the discovery of his manuscripts in the late 1970s, his fiction has appeared in multiple editions in Russian, Fre...

That Difficult Death

That Difficult Death

IN HELEN GARNER’S short novel The Spare Room, Nicola, a woman dying of cancer, goes to stay with her friend Helen while undergoing dubious alternative treatment in Melbourne. This treatment, which i...

Good Company: Conversations With Norman Manea

Good Company: Conversations With Norman Manea

Photo by Paul Mandelbaum “THERE WERE ABORTIONS, too.” So confesses the renowned Romanian-language author Norman Manea while recalling the big love affair of his youth. Perhaps it’s an unusual l...

War and Insurgency

War and Insurgency

IT’S EASY to understand why David Bellos and his publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, chose to bring out the French author Daniel Anselme’s debut novel On Leave in its first English translation. ...