Shallow Sargasso Sea

Shallow Sargasso Sea

Can you improve on a classic? A new novel retells George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda — but much more is lost than gained in the attempt.

Inheritance of Anger

Inheritance of Anger

The great Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa claims he became a writer in order to annoy his father; his new novel takes up this age-old theme of the strife between fathers and sons.

There’s the Door, Spaceman

There’s the Door, Spaceman

DC Comics gives writer/artist Darwyn Cooke’s masterpiece The New Frontier, a shrewd and powerful re-imagining of DC’s iconic superheroes, the glorious hardcover edition it deserves. Justin Hickey re-reads.

The Art of Socialist America

The Art of Socialist America

The Works Progress Administration did more than set thousand of Americans to building bridges and roads in the 1930s; it also fostered art, as an exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Art Gallery lavishly illustrates.

Kafka with a Happy Ending

Kafka with a Happy Ending

As we should expect from someone whose previous work is both experimental and kinky, Miranda July has written a first novel that refuses to play by the rules.

Blame the Dog

Blame the Dog

When Homo sapiens appeared in Europe 45,000 years ago, most of the long-established species there – including the Neanderthals – began to disappear. Did Homo sapiens wipe them out? And if so, did they have help from somebody right there in your living room?

Flowers of Prison

Flowers of Prison

Controversial Chinese artist and activist Ai WeiWei set an art installation inside the walls of America’s most notorious prisons – with surreal and sometimes beautiful results.

Pros and Con Men

Pros and Con Men

Despite his iconic status today, in the 19th century Sherlock Holmes was neither the alpha nor the omega of crime fighters: a fascinating new book introduces us to his many contemporaries.

Leviathan in the Offing

Leviathan in the Offing

Ron Howard’s adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick’s bestselling In the Heart of the Sea will soon appear, but even the trailers raise rich questions: Why does this story still have the power to fascinate? A Moby-Dick fan ponders.

Flail and Thrash

Flail and Thrash

When we say of someone that they died too early, does this posit that there is a perfect time? How does the meaning of a life change the longer it’s lived. Jenny Erpenbeck’s new novel End of Days explores some answers.

The Familiar is Strange

The Familiar is Strange

Stalking the pages of Thomas Pierce’s debut story collection, where the surreal shares quarters with the ordinary, are dwarf mammoths, genetically modified guard dogs, baby Pippin monkeys, and a parakeet named Magnificent.

The Only Relevant Thing

The Only Relevant Thing

Matthew Lippman’s third poetry collection sings of the joys and sorrows of married life – and ventures onto broader societal stages as well. The result shows the reader in new detail a world they thought they knew.

It’s a Mystery: “Danger is the spur of all great minds”

It’s a Mystery: “Danger is the spur of all great minds”

The Friendship of Criminals by Robert Glinski is a fresh, original and totally entertaining perspective on mob relationships; A Murder of Magpies is Judith Flanders deliciously wry take on murder and publishing.

From the Archives: It’s a Mystery: “I Confess That I Covet Your Skull”

moriarty

Irma Heldman dives into a rollicking, bawdy yarn depicting an infamous, turn-of-the century caper masterminded by Professor Moriarty—Sherlock Holmes’ archenemy. Then she matches wits with a cheeky mini-tome refuting the great detective’s solution to his most illustrious case.

From the Archives: George Eliot for Dummies

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Free thinker, strong-minded woman, scholar, lover, novelist: George Eliot lived a courageous life that should be known and celebrated. But does Brenda Maddox’s biography do it justice?

From the Archives: Claiming the Future

From the Archives: Claiming the Future

Julio Cortázar and Gabriel Garcia Marquez brought Latin American fiction to the attention of the world. Now a young crop of writers are trying to move beyond magical realism–a new anthology charts the diverse approaches.