Books
Books

One Path for the Impersonal Essay

Francis Spufford’s curious, erudite essays are a reminder of what the form can do when it isn’t about confessing anything.

Oct. 18 2017 7:00 PMThe Book of Dust, Volume 1Fall in love with Philip Pullman’s imagination all over again.
Oct. 13 2017 3:37 PMThe Most Shocking Thing About Ivana Trump’s New Parenting MemoirIt’s good.
Oct. 12 2017 4:31 PMBernie Sanders, King of YA LitHow did his latest political manifesto become a young adult best-seller?
Oct. 2 2017 9:00 AMGive Me Grant: An American MusicalWith his new biography of Ulysses S. Grant, Ron Chernow turns the life of yet another misunderstood figure from U.S. currency into narrative gold.
Sept. 29 2017 6:45 PMThanks, ObamaThis memoir by a former White House speechwriter (and joke writer) is irresistibly charming. It also feels like the setup for a grim cosmic punch line.
Sept. 20 2017 9:00 AMBFFsTwo new novels approach the pleasures and perils of female friendship in strikingly different ways.
Sept. 14 2017 6:50 PMWhy Isn’t Hillary Clinton Even Angrier?In What Happened, Clinton takes on the obsessive demand that she assume responsibility for the 2016 election. But we can’t move on.
Sept. 4 2017 11:31 PMJohn Ashbery’s Convex MirrorYes, the poet’s work was difficult. But he was great because everyone found his work just as difficult as you did.
Aug. 18 2017 9:36 AMOutraged RomanticWhat is Jeremiah Moss really pining for when he decries the loss of Old New York?
Aug. 16 2017 10:38 AM“I Had a Boss Who Interrupted Me Constantly to Say, ‘Gee, You Have Pretty Hair’ ”Ellen Ullman, who worked as a computer programmer in the ’70s and ’80s, on building a career within the “boy culture” of tech.
Aug. 15 2017 9:18 AMTrue Crime Gets PrettyOnce trashy and compelling, true crime is now the realm of credentialed literary writers. Is that an improvement?
Aug. 3 2017 12:28 PMTell Me I’m InterestingSally Rooney’s debut novel is a remarkably charming exploration of that very uncharming subject: the human ego.
July 21 2017 9:38 AMExotic MinutiaeA new novel imagines the psychology of Martin Luther King Jr.’s murderer with vivid, obsessive historical detail.
July 17 2017 9:30 AMHow Reality CrumblesA timely and troubling new novel ranks among the best works of queer science fiction.
July 5 2017 10:41 AMFamous Last WordsThree memoirs of mortality suggest that even for the terminally ill, universal truths are elusive.
Oct. 16 2017 12:52 PMGrimm Meets Law and Order: Special Victims Unit Each era has its own fairy tales to teach kids what a princess looks like and what monsters to fear. The stories in this stunning debut collection are ours.
Oct. 13 2017 3:26 PMTurtles All the Way DownJohn Green is telling a story, and the story is telling him.
Oct. 10 2017 10:33 AMOriginality Is OverratedJennifer Egan’s first novel since Goon Squad is very conventional World War II historical fiction. It’s spectacular.
Oct. 2 2017 5:55 AMWe Made Ta-Nehisi Coates Into a SymbolNow his new book forces us to consider him as a writer, nothing more and nothing less.
Sept. 21 2017 11:50 AMAmerica the SupervillainSalman Rushdie’s new novel sets out to skewer our political landscape and ends up crushed by the weight of its own hyperbole.
Sept. 18 2017 7:45 AMTraumatized GhostsJesmyn Ward’s new novel is like a modern Beloved, with the cruelty of the criminal justice system swapped in for the torments of slavery.
Sept. 5 2017 10:15 AMCutting ’Em Down to SizeA new dismantling of Freud shows the value of a critic’s well-honed hatchet.
Aug. 24 2017 12:46 PMSour Heart Sets the “Model Minority” Myth on FireJenny Zhang’s debut is at once gorgeous and grotesque—and marks an auspicious beginning for Lena Dunham’s imprint.
Aug. 17 2017 9:53 AMIf “The End of Men” Were a NovelTom Perrotta’s latest chronicle of suburban life feels less like a coherent story than an extended think piece about “the way we live now.”
Aug. 16 2017 9:30 AMKeep It Hot, Keep It RealMatthew Klam’s Who Is Rich? totally reinvigorates the literary cliché of the male midlife crisis.
Aug. 14 2017 7:45 AMNowhere ManIn this extraordinary Korean comic, a cartoonist and his wife escape to the country, and everything goes wrong.
July 26 2017 12:17 PMThe World Without UsWhat kind of books do you write when you believe civilization is doomed?
July 18 2017 2:37 PMThe Chickenshit ClubA new book indicts the Justice Department with a fiery passion. So why do its arguments feel so inert?
July 12 2017 9:30 AMShe Dined on Black PuddingA new book about the diets of notable women redeems the whole sentimental, self-indulgent genre of food writing.
June 26 2017 12:22 PMThe Hunger to Stop HurtingRoxane Gay, through the act of memoir, attempts to take possession of her body.

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