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Fiction news and analysis from The Nation

  • June 1, 2000

    The Sri Lankan Patients

    This time none of that lollygagging elusiveness that began The English Patient.

    Tom LeClair

  • May 25, 2000

    The Troves of Academe

    "A university," poet John Ciardi acidly observed, "is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students." Add this contemporary counterpunch: A college is what a university becom

    Carlin Romano

  • May 11, 2000

    A Closing of the American Kind

    You will recall that when Augie March went to Mexico, he hooked up with an eagle, which he called Caligula.

    John Leonard

  • April 20, 2000

    Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

    In Moby-Dick, in the chapter "The Fossil Whale," Ishmael proclaims: "To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme." The theme of Joyce Carol Oates's Blonde--well, it's a

    Lawrence Joseph

  • April 5, 2000

    Passages to India

    In the early 1920s, E.M.

    Amitava Kumar

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  • March 2, 2000

    Infinite Jest

    Dave Eggers's memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, has been a bit too loudly hyped as an ironic tearjerker, and a media juggernaut has branded its author a tragic hero.

    Elise Harris

  • February 23, 2000

    Stations of the Cross

    Perhaps no contemporary writer has more singlemindedly mined a single vein of literary ore than E.L. Doctorow has New York City, especially the New York of the past.

    Melvin Jules Bukiet

  • February 16, 2000

    Salvation in South Africa

    Blessed with a great subject, afflicted with it too, J.M. Coetzee has remade its meanings in the light of metaphor often no further from us than our own bodies.

    Joseph McElroy

  • December 15, 1999

    Joseph Heller

    Nelson Algren's 1961 review of Catch-22 is at

    Christopher Hitchens

  • December 2, 1999

    Algren’s Question

    He would hang his coat neatly over the back of his chair in the leaden station-house twilight, say he was beat from lack of sleep and lay his head across his arms upon the query-roo

    Daniel Simon