Olga Tokarczuk’s most recent book is filled with themes for this stationary time—the longing not just for travel, but for immortality through movement, through time or space, accompanied by a fascination with our fellow travelers.
Joan Lindsay’s historical novel is about the transformations that take place after trauma, and how trauma is distorted when pressed into the molds of different class experiences, representing the final shapes we are allowed to assume.
A master of suspense, Daphne du Maurier’s highest skill lies in finding the latent dread in mundane domestic moments.
Carson’s novel is driven by unlatching being: her protagonist’s narration progresses from the self-absorption of childhood through adolescence and into the comparative wisdom of young adulthood. Carson shows this journey primarily through changes in the way that the outside world, and those who live in it, are observed.
Duality is a constant theme of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final novel, and fracture along the resulting fault lines is its constant threat. Fitzgerald mirrored these fractures in a brilliant nonlinear structure, though whether he fully appreciated his own craft is unclear, given that he eventually decided to sabotage it.
All of us dread recognizing the one true powerlessness we have in the world: that ultimate impotence in the face of death. But more than anyone else, a mother is expected to feel powerful in this fight against mortality. Her primary job is to fight death, calmly, every day.
Olga Tokarczuk’s newly translated novel has been marketed as a murder mystery, albeit a strange one. It is that, partly, but underneath the whodunit is another novel: one about how our obsession with usefulness leads to greed, and the devastating impact of both on the environment.
In fiction, it is never a good idea to attend a dinner party. We read dinner party stories to get messy, to get everybody drunk, and to hear what they’ve been keeping quiet about for years. These fictional parties almost always end in a revelation, and usually not a
In this new edition, Machado has taken on the duty of an antique frame restorer. The resulting work is a hybrid form, a beautiful and terrible monster that shifts whenever you look at it, back and forth between history and fantasy, repression and liberation, horror and desire.
Great child narrators feel like a Oulipo trick, pulled off seamlessly. Instead of writing without certain letters, writers of child narrators blind themselves to certain truths.