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Literary Criticism news and analysis from The Nation
November 15, 2017
Between the News and a Prayer
Danez Smith’s poetry bends language to hope for the possibility of a better world.
David B. Hobbs
October 26, 2017
What Was It Like to Be Ernest Hemingway?
The world of the Hemingways rattled with frequent gunfire.
October 6, 2017
Carmen Maria Machado’s Earnest Vision
Her new fiction collection reminds us that a new, more inclusive world is possible.
July 20, 2017
The Poetics of Jazz
A new book presents an alternative aesthetic history of jazz—and is also a challenge to all music critics.
David B. Hobbs
June 26, 2017
Percival Everett’s Abstract Art
His new novel,
So Much Blue
, is a meditation on seeing and abstraction, and it might be key for recognizing a new form of literary social critique.
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June 19, 2017
Mary Gaitskill Remains Open to Opposition
The closest thing we get to a precept in
Somebody with a Little Hammer
is that we should all try to learn to think for ourselves—and, even then, things can go wrong.
April 14, 2017
Hwang Jungeun’s Noisy, Crowded Space
It’s rare for a novel to be so dense in social meaning, and yet so lightly composed.
E. Tammy Kim
March 20, 2017
Caught Between Modernity and Tradition
With sympathy and ruthlessness, U.R. Ananthamurthy’s novel
gives shape to the mutinies that raged within mid-century India.
March 17, 2017
The Model of Perfection in Morgan Parker’s Poems
The poet allows the struggles and the messiness of life—with a particular focus on black womanhood—to breathe.
March 16, 2017
Sarah Manguso’s Existential Aphorisms
, the author’s rejection of the conventions of storytelling helps reinforce the sense of her own smallness.