BookEssay

'One Moment of Reality'

During the last months of her life, Katherine Mansfield conceived of a different kind of writing—“stories that I would not be ashamed to show to God.”

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Anne Enright's new novel suggests something simple—family, for good or ill, keeps forming us even when we try to escape it—but her prose constantly surprises.

An Unlikely Union

Paul Moses's history of Irish-Italian relations in 19th century New York delves into the causes for "race war" between the immigrant groups and how they overcame it.

'James Merrill: Life and Art'

Langdon Hammer's biography of poet and writer James Merrill is "wholly definitive" in scope, and threaded throughout with Merrill’s brilliant, always enlivening wit.

Runyon's Way

If you ask me, being a writer is a little like falling in love. No matter how uncomplicated it seems at the start, it is always complicated. The trick is to persist.

'Layers of Knowing, and Not Knowing'

Ireland's fiction laureate talks about sex and death in Ireland; Pope John Paul II's 1979 visit to the country; Kafka and kids; and her new novel, 'The Green Road.'

Our Kids

The pattern of income inequality is more than a social problem, Robert Putnam says; it's a social tragedy, most devastating in the lives of poor American children.

The Age of the Crisis of Man

Many modern American thinkers have asked, often and with anxiety, "What is man?" In his latest book, Mark Greif thinks we've outgrown this—and it's a good thing.

Why the Romantics Matter

In his final book, the late Peter Gay expands familiar notion of the Romantic rebellion against Enlightenment rationality, to the focus on artistic self-expression.

Letters | Francis & sexual abuse; sober history; knowing Jesus

Readers "angered at the tortured logic of the editors" respond to the removal of Bishop Finn, Francis's failures, the value of "big history," and how to know Jesus.

Kill Chain

Andrew Cockburn's 'Kill Chain' examines the disastrous political effects of the U.S. military's targeted assassination practices--and the true motives behind them.

Old News: The World Is Not Christian

Unlike past Eurocentric taxonomies of world religions, the latest Norton anthology aims to let six major, living, international religions speak...in their own words.
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