Literary Fiction

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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. ...

Serial Reader

Serial Reader

I HAD TO CHUCKLE when I approached the end of Threepenny Review editor Wendy Lesser’s latest meditation on reading and came across an odd admission from the author: “There are many times when I...

Compulsive Individuality

Compulsive Individuality

RELEASED TO GREAT fanfare in 2007, Joshua Ferris’s debut novel Then We Came to the End looked in some ways like an attack on the American worker’s tendency to offer one’s soul to the company. ...

Proust’s Love. From Paris to Los Angeles.

Proust’s Love. From Paris to Los Angeles.

I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME I visited Los Angeles — the first time I truly visited LA, in the same way as you visit friends, as a place where you feel at home, but not quite. I was struck by something...

The Deserts Bloom

The Deserts Bloom

A YOUNG MAN of wealth and creative inclination moves to a new neighborhood, where he finds the time and space to pursue his art — we know this one. Soon developers are nosing around, property values...

This Endanger'd Isle

This Endanger'd Isle

FROM TO THE LIGHTHOUSE ON, the British have produced a series of novels that address empire and its downward trajectory in the most pointed and humane terms, even if the decline is tangential or offst...