Alexandra Schwartz is on the editorial staff of The New Yorker.
Because nobody else thinks like her.
The slowly panic-making power of Renata Adler’s novels Speedboat and Pitch Dark.
Nikolai Leskov’s The Enchanted Wandered and Other Stories; Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself
If you get to the top, only to find that the voice hounding you with charges of inauthenticity is your own, what then?
Joan Didion’s Blue Nights, Peter Van Buren’s We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People.
In The Marriage Plot Jeffrey Eugenides can’t explain what happens to his characters without throwing in every last why.
Jean-Patrick Manchette’s Fatale, Binyavanga Wainaina’s One Day I Will Write About This Place, Juan Gabriel Vásquez’s The History of Costaguana
Daniel Orozco, Orientation and Other Stories; Mercè Rodoreda, The Selected Stories of Mercè Rodoreda.
Nicole Krauss’s Great House swings from the evocative to the overcharged.