Oksana, Behave! and Olive, Again

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New novels by Maria Kuznetsova and Elizabeth Strout, written in the form of chapter-length stories, give us the opportunity to see a great span of a life and to focus in on the moments that matter.

Svetlana Alexievich’s Verbatim Theater

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In her exploration of the Chernobyl disaster, Svetlana Alexievich dramatizes history—as she insists, we can only understand events of this magnitude by recasting them on a human scale.

The Many Disappearances in Run Me to Earth

In Paul Yoon’s new novel, we become witnesses to the many disappearances that punctuate war-torn lives: of neighbors, memories, motorcycles, colonizers, baskets, friends, body parts, names. Some of these disappearances, however, like new continents emerging from volcanic eruptions, lay the ground for Yoon’s characters’ destinies.

Reading Annihilation

The first book in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy does not balk at the sheer futility of humanity in the face of natural forces, but it doesn’t wholly destroy all who enter it, either. Instead, it returns readers to the sublime aspect of nature—the understanding that it can be

The Art of Dissent in Abigail

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Magda Szabó’s 1970 novel is an unusual coming-of-age story—the willful heroine finds her place in society not by learning to comply with its demands, but by learning the art of dissent.

“We’re standing on the edge of the cliff”: An Interview with Lauren Groff

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Following the conclusion of her Climate Visionaries project undertaken with Greenpeace, Jason Katz speaks with Lauren Groff about writing climate fiction, her climate-related work, and talking to our youngest about climate change.

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

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Brandon Taylor’s new novel explores the anxiety of being alive, the exhaustion of being black in America, and the cruelty that is embedded in human interaction.

The Art of Conversation in Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee

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Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s 1982 book confounds expectations at every turn. Specifically, there’s something monumental about the text’s extreme lack of metaphor, its striving toward objective observation, that feels to me—in this moment—absolutely poetic.

Weather by Jenny Offill

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Jenny Offill’s new novel is collection of portraits, of individual truths and national anguish, curated by a quietly unravelling woman.

Visibility as Dissent in the Panopticity

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As panopticon-like tactics of controlling certain populations become increasingly widespread, Abdel Aziz’s debut novel gives us a peek into the authoritarian future to which such surveillance could lead. Within the tyrannical panopticity, she insists on the power of visibility as double-edged tool of oppression and revolution.