Fact and Fiction in Tell Me How It Ends and Lost Children Archive

Reading both of Valeria Luiselli’s most recent books, which each center on the refugee crisis at the US-Mexico border, is a powerful experience—doing so can show us our own complicity in what is often a “background story.”

The Threshold of Memory and Return

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Confronting the manifestations of trauma in individual people and larger communities, the nonlinear form of Iman Humaydan’s 2012 novel exposes the importance of living with complexity despite its accompanying discomfort in the context of the Lebanese Civil War and beyond.

The Art of Lying

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As any reader knows, the best storytellers are the best liars. Karen Russell, master of magical realism, has time and again proved her abilities—most recently, in her new collection, a book.

Too Young to Know

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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.

Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s Treatise on Abuse

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These roles that men and women play are a mutilation. So, too, are the neocolonial systems that ask people to inhabit them.

Loss and Exile in Héctor Abad’s Oblivion

Like all exile stories, for Héctor Abad to survive, he has to avenge the tragedy of loss by hanging on to the good, even when it returns him to sadness.

Tears of the Trufflepig by Fernando A. Flores

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An ill-fated expedition entangles the protagonist of Fernando A. Flores’ new novel in a powerful syndicate whose tentacles of influence sprawl in all directions, and whose sinister and audacious ambitions materialize a trufflepig with the body of a pig, the hide of a crocodile, and the beak of an

The Modernism of Henry James’ Washington Square

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James Lipton, theatre director and host of Bravo’s Inside the Actor’s Studio, has a pet theory about actors and entertainers he trots out on air from time to time, a theory he bases on hundreds of interviews: children of divorce often become artists—particularly of the theatrical sort. He describes

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

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There is pleasure to be had in reading Julia Phillips’ debut novel, even in the midst of such grief and despair. Phillips is a beautiful, assured writer, one who knows how to create fully-developed characters, a marvelous sense of place, and a constant forward momentum.

The Women of James Salter’s Dusk and Other Stories

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Salter’s women remain ciphers throughout his collection, defined by their looks or their perceived demands on the men in their lives. But the women occupy powerful positions throughout the collection despite these spare characterizations because they allow the reader a chance to view the primary narrative from the outside.