James Wood and the Fall of Man

James Wood and the Fall of Man

Book critic James Wood is a fascinating collection of contradictions: an apostate true believer, a champion of experimental fiction, an earnest searcher in empty temples. Sam Sacks reads one of our foremost readers.

A Long Time in the Making

A Long Time in the Making

Nora Webster may be Colm Tóibín’s slightest novel yet, but his later novels are born from and echo this wise and intimate investigation of the interior life.

Pointez, Pointez!

Pointez, Pointez!

Hugely talented biographer Andrew Roberts has written a big biography of Napoleon Bonaparte – but when it comes to such a well-known figure, are readers in danger of fatigue de bataille?

Title Menu: Our Year in Reading 2014

Title Menu: Our Year in Reading 2014

Our unabashedly bookish editors and friends look back on some of the highlights from 2014’s reading.

Double Consciousness

Double Consciousness

Literature by post-Yugoslavian writers is often about identity in flux. That includes the books of David Albahari, one of the most widely read of contemporary Serbian authors and one of the most worth reading.

Something Beyond the Chaos

Something Beyond the Chaos

The author made immortal by the novel Dune also wrote a career’s worth of short stories. Robert Minto looks at the first-ever complete collection of those stories.

Unwise Counsel

Unwise Counsel

Leon Panetta, old Washington fixture and former member of the Obama administration, criticizes the president in his new memoir. But does he have anything to say?

An Interview with Katy Bohinc

An Interview with Katy Bohinc

Maureen Thorson interviews Katy Bohinc, poet and author of Dear Alain.

#NotAllNazis

#NotAllNazis

What would you do if your artistic survival suddenly depended on the whims of a brutal dictatorship? How far would you compromise? How much would you risk? A new book studies artists in the Third Reich.

The Fighter

The Fighter

Norman Mailer was as fiery and mercurial a letter-writer as he was a novelist and journalist – and ten times as prolific. A big new volume collects the highlights of a lifetime in the post.

Not What Isaiah Had in Mind

Not What Isaiah Had in Mind

Can a book about the Jewish Diaspora add anything useful on the topic if it’s uninterested in Jewish history and slightly dodgy about the Diaspora? Jordan MaGill gives Alan Wolfe’s At Home in Exile a close reading.

Keep on Losing

Keep on Losing

Now back in print: an English translation of iconic Polish writer (and compulsive re-inventor of himself) Marek Hlasko’s most powerful novel.

“He hit the Constitution much as the Lord hit chaos…”

“He hit the Constitution much as the Lord hit chaos…”

There were layers and layers to John Marshall, one of America’s first and in many ways most important Chief Justices of the Supreme Court – but just how deep does the latest biography go?

“Cambridge should come to us”

“Cambridge should come to us”

“Our belief in Literature has collapsed” Lars Iyer once wrote, but his new novel Wittgenstein Jr, the story of a passionate philosophy professor and his apathetic students, bristles with literary faith.

It’s a Mystery: “Irreverence is my only sacred cow”

It’s a Mystery: “Irreverence is my only sacred cow”

A veteran and a newcomer give us two gripping thrillers: The Big Finish by the critically acclaimed master of suspense, James W. Hall, and The Life We Bury, a mesmerizing debut by Allen Eskens.

From the Archives: Our Year in Reading 2013

From the Archives: Our Year in Reading 2013

In this annual retrospective, the Open Letters team looks back on the highlights of our 2013 reading.