The Disgraceful Lowlands of Writing

The Disgraceful Lowlands of Writing

Reiner Stach’s masterful, epic biography of Kafka is finally complete. Never has the man been less mysterious, but can it illuminate the confounding, beguiling mystery of his writing?

West of Lovelorn

West of Lovelorn

The author of the uproarious debut Radium Baby returns with a surreal and oddly heartfelt riff on the YA genre, set in an Old West that ripples with unreality.

Racing Toward Mytilene

Racing Toward Mytilene

Two and a half millennia ago, a war between Athens and Sparta drove Greek civilization to its knees. A new book explores what demagogues and democracies can teach us about the fall of nations.

Bar-Kochba and Old Bolsheviks

Bar-Kochba and Old Bolsheviks

Not easily classified, Paul Goldberg’s The Yid is historical but counterfactual, polemical yet absurd. Above all it is a testament to the Jewish experience.

One More for the Pantheon

One More for the Pantheon

In tense action scenes, stylized dialogue, and rich narrative depth, novelist Ron Hansen tells the story of the Old West’s signature outlaw, Billy the Kid.

A Year with the Tudors II: Have You Heard It?

A Year with the Tudors II: Have You Heard It?

A new book on the famous Tudor dynasty promises that most alluring of all perspectives on royalty: the back-stage details. But can it succeed? A Year with the Tudors continues.

It’s a Mystery: “It is always best to be invited when entering a dangerous place”

It’s a Mystery: “It is always best to be invited when entering a dangerous place”

Rennie Airth returns with the fifth novel featuring John Madden, who belongs in the pantheon of great, civilized English sleuths

From the Archives: First Person Singular

From the Archives: First Person Singular

Can a famously cold and impersonal writer like Paul Auster make a memoir of aging that works against his strengths? And are they strengths after all?

From the Archives: Uncertainty Principles

From the Archives: Uncertainty Principles

In Changing My Mind novelist Zadie Smith, long a literary essayist, gathers together her burgeoning belles-lettres. Is it just a chance collection or does a common theme run through them? Sam Sacks reviews her views.

From the Archives: War, in Panorama

From the Archives: War, in Panorama

How could they do it, those young men who, with every reason to live, walked deliberately into machine-gun fire? Joe Sacco gives us a panoramic view of the horror, the labor, and the losses of WWI.