Jonathan Franzen Is Having More Fun Than His Critics

Purity is the writer’s most limber, enjoyable novel yet.

Aug. 7 2015 2:51 PMCatty and Selfish and IndomitableA delicious first novel about growing up and not leaving New York.
Aug. 7 2015 10:52 AMThe Oregon Trail, IRLA strange new book tells us exactly what it’s like to head West by covered wagon today. (You might fall in love with your mules.)
Aug. 6 2015 5:57 AMRed Red WhineIs bias against redheads really “one of the last great social prejudices”?
Aug. 5 2015 12:46 PMIf I Could Talk to the AnimalsTwo new books make the case for what animals feel—and what we lose when we discount their emotions.
Aug. 4 2015 10:42 AMWonderA theoretical physicist searches for the design behind nature’s beauty.
Aug. 3 2015 10:03 AMEat or Be EatenAlexandra Kleeman’s debut may be our best novel about the weirdness of being female in a culture that is obsessed with women’s bodies.
July 24 2015 4:28 PMWhat Happened at Slate This Week?The one story that trumped them all.
July 10 2015 2:41 PMPetty Brutality  Karolina Waclawiak’s The Invaders explores the small cruelties that bored, wealthy people inflict on each other.
July 10 2015 12:31 PMAmerican BeautiesTwo books tell the story of the evolution of the American fashion model, from Ford to Versailles.
July 9 2015 10:31 AMBetween the World and MeTa-Nehisi Coates’s new book is a monumental work about being black in America that every American urgently needs to read.
July 8 2015 4:31 PMThe Cartoonist Other Cartoonists Can’t Wait to ReadThe fourth issue of Ethan Rilly’s Pope Hats is just as great as the first three.
July 7 2015 4:12 PMSerious Bill-Paying SkillageErnest Cline’s Armada is everything wrong with gaming culture wrapped up in one soon-to-be–best-selling novel.
July 6 2015 10:18 AMThe Original OnlineTrapped in the web of Joshua Cohen’s Book of Numbers.
June 5 2015 11:23 AMA Forest in Which to Grow FanciesThe first volume of B. Catling’s epic fantastical trilogy isn’t about a forest, or Africa, or monsters, exactly.
June 4 2015 2:05 PMIn the Tower of the DragonNaomi Novik’s engrossing fantasy Uprooted expertly mixes Katniss Everdeen and Jane Eyre.
Aug. 7 2015 11:35 AMA Tightrope Walk Over the AbyssKaren Russell talks to Helen Phillips about her weird, beautiful debut novel.
Aug. 6 2015 1:18 PMThe Illogic of All Sex LawsA new book traces a century of legislative prudery.
Aug. 5 2015 1:02 PMMeet OafA romance comic for bear-lovers and the bears who love them.
Aug. 4 2015 11:09 AMFrom Tapestries to Texting BubblesMatthew Battles’ Palimpsest is a “history of the written word” that misunderstands exactly how our relationship to the written word has changed.
Aug. 4 2015 5:45 AMFitzgerald the ProA lost short story reminds us that even at the end of his life, F. Scott Fitzgerald could craft a tale.
Aug. 2 2015 9:05 PMThe Unusual Mind of Clarice LispectorThe Brazilian writer’s Complete Stories reveals she was a genius on the level of Nabokov.
July 16 2015 5:37 PMGhost Story from a Haunted ConscienceHarper Lee’s complicated new novel wrestles with race and loses.
July 10 2015 12:46 PMAsk Not For Whom the Goat BleatsIt bleats for Stavros Stavros Mavrakis in Annie Liontas’ sly debut Let Me Explain You.
July 10 2015 12:11 PM“We” the PeopleCan a public intellectual speak for us all in an era of fragmented culture?
July 9 2015 9:30 AMThat Peculiar Almost AffirmativeColm Tóibín’s glorious, maddening, uneven book about Elizabeth Bishop.
July 8 2015 12:20 PMWhat Can Browne Do For You?Lessons on science writing from a 17th-century know-it-all.
July 7 2015 2:26 PMCry DaddyOne weird trick any children’s book can use to make parents break into sobs.
July 5 2015 8:46 PMThe Unexpected Lightness of Milan Kundera’s New NovelThe 86-year-old author has grown surprisingly—and delightfully—cheerful.
June 5 2015 11:22 AMWhose Fault?Owen Sheers’ new novel spins a disquieting web of complicity, guilt, and blame.
June 4 2015 9:30 AMAziz Is Typing …The sly, sweet wisdom of the comedian’s manual for dating in the digital age.