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September 22, 2016
A Poet Undone
Poetry defeats poems. Beguiled by this decorous paradox, Ben Lerner’s
The Hatred of Poetry
evades the art’s difficulty and strangeness.
September 6, 2016
Several Types of William Empson
A lost study of Buddhist art reveals a hidden side of a great literary critic.
August 23, 2016
An Argentinian Novelist, Out of Oblivion
Exile, failure, the dread of erasure: Antonio Di Benedetto seems to have transmuted all his life experiences into his novel
, which has finally been translated into English.
August 12, 2016
Leaving Home to Go Home
Yaa Gyasi’s ideas about fiction are suffused with her lifelong attention to the fluctuating shadows that race casts on American life.
July 29, 2016
What Breeds in ‘Standing Water’
Eleanor Chai’s poems require delving below the surface of each compact, enjambment-packed stanza, forcing the reader through a process of discovery not unlike Chai’s own origin story.
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July 28, 2016
Jesse Ball’s Extreme Minimalism
His settings are dark, sketchy, and unrealistic by dint of what’s held back.
July 21, 2016
The Partisan Reviewer
In two recent essay collections, Tim Parks explores why we bother with reading and writing books.
June 17, 2016
What Rebecca Schiff Knows
Her most obvious forebear in minimalist stories is Lydia Davis. But Schiff is certainly charting her own path.
May 20, 2016
Stephen O’Connor Dreams of Thomas Jefferson
Even as it condemns Jefferson for his immoral conduct, O’Connor’s novel still holds him up as a hero.
May 16, 2016
A Blues for Albert Murray
His name was never household familiar. Yet his complex, mind-opening analysis of art and life remains as timely as ever—probably more so.
Thomas Chatterton Williams