Noble Rot

Noble Rot

Horror fiction may not at first compare with more respectable genres, but look a bit closer. Horror is one of the oldest emotions known to man, and the artists who’ve evoked it have been some of our most brilliant and most strange …

What Jona Knew

What Jona Knew

It’s comforting to believe there are lessons to be learned from the Holocaust, or to treat it as a story about the triumph of the human spirit. Jona Oberski’s Childhood rightly refuses us these consolations.

Plying the Darkness

Plying the Darkness

Brian Turner’s complex, lyrical meditations on his tour of duty in Iraq make us ache with the privilege that is a war memoir.

J

J

James Laughlin started a publishing imprint, New Directions, by selling what would become a syllabus of Modern writing from the trunk of his car.

I Am Almost a Camera

I Am Almost a Camera

As the Smithsonian’s new exhibit confirms, Richard Estes is the preeminent photo-realist painter of our time or–most likely–of any time. But to what extent is photo-realism an art worth practicing? And what does it do?

[Requiem for the Aral Sea]

[Requiem for the Aral Sea]

a poem, translated by Thoraya El-Rayyes

Title Menu: 6 Lyric Voices of Witness

Title Menu: 6 Lyric Voices of Witness

The voice of poetry can often be the voice of lyric witness, turning our attention to moments in history that would have eluded us, or that might never have been felt as well as understood. These titles perform this function about as well as it can be done.

Independence Day

Independence Day

Two recent votes on independence remind us that globalization has not put an end to nationalism. A new book on the 1995 Quebec referendum highlights just how complicated a people’s “yes” or “no” votes really are.

Short Tales on a Tight Rein

Short Tales on a Tight Rein

The contemporary American short story is a kind of stunt double for the novel. Monica McFawn’s Bright Shards of Someplace Else is one such collection, each of its eleven stories posturing like a dare accepted.

Harm Him, Harm Me

Harm Him, Harm Me

Historical novelist Andrew Levkoff stuffs the last installment of his “Bow of Heaven” trilogy with battles, love, loyalty betrayed, crucifixion, cross-purposes, loyalty regained, and deep reflections on what it all means.

Those Rascally Parthians! An Interview with author Andrew Levkoff

Those Rascally Parthians! An Interview with author Andrew Levkoff

Open Letters Monthly interviews the author of Blood of Eagles, book three of the Bow of Heaven series.

Enlisted Again

Enlisted Again

Once he’d led the Continental Army to victory, General George Washington retired to his Mount Vernon home – but the newborn country wasn’t done with him yet. A new book looks at First Citizen Washington.

From the Archives: Sparta, Iraq

From the Archives: Sparta, Iraq

“We must compensate the man for the loss of his gun,” wrote Virginia Woolf. Roxana Robinson’s riveting novel challenges us to imagine how we can do that as we work for peace.

From the Archives: Three AM, Outside the Pavilion

From the Archives: Three AM, Outside the Pavilion

If comic book artist P. Craig Russell didn’t exist, we’d have to dream him up. Under the covers with a flashlight, Justin Hickey illuminates a pair of his sublime literature adaptations.

From the Archives: The Grey Zone

From the Archives: The Grey Zone

Gertrude van Tijn helped more than 20,000 Jews escape occupied Holland. What does it mean that, in saving their lives, she had to collaborate with Nazis?