The most distinctive trait of novels like The Nix is the ensemble, and the guiding principle is a recognizably American one: the bigger, the better.
A few weeks ago, I found myself in a public state of lust. My object of desire? There before me, in a display fit for a museum, was a cloth-bound sketchbook of Ireland with “78 pages of watercolors by ‘Miss Collis,’ circa 1890.” I loved it. I wanted it.
When stories transport me, they usually do it inside a character’s body, and the farther afield the story is taking me, the more important the physical details of the characters’ experiences become.
Up until recently, I’d always stacked Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex on the same mental shelf as War and Peace and In Search of Lost Time—books unwieldy in size and densely written, requiring a nearly extinct attention span.
The information age has left us mired in details. Unable to see the big picture, we suffer from shortsightedness. We can’t discern the connections between actions and consequences, or recognize the pattern that shows we are all connected as one.
Could a novel simultaneously peeve feminists and slash our image of the Garden of Eden? You might think so when you read Eve out of Her Ruins, a novel by Mauritian author Ananda Devi. The short and gorgeous book empowers women in a way that might infuriate feminists.
Pop culture, like poetry, can work like excavation; it authorizes us to ask questions, to uncover, and to translate.
Imagine being cut off from more than ninety percent of the world’s printed material. According to the non-profit World Blind Union, that's the case for people with visual impairments. But there are plenty of things that can be done to make books more accessible to those with visual and
If that reality was so vital to Nabokov, if its silenced heart is what makes the novel so haunting, then there is space, surely, surely, for the real, breathing girl to speak properly.
In this literary chain, we have two old white men surveying Mexico, followed by me, a young, Indian woman, whom most strangers in Oaxaca assumed was Mexican.