Fiction

'Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years'

In his latest, Thomas Mallon turns real-life figures like Nixon, Reagan, and Nancy Reagan's astrologer into characters as skillfully as he creates fictional ones.

'Go Set a Watchman'

'Go Set Watchman' shows that though Atticus Finch defended a black man in court, he was still a man of his time—on the white citizens council, resisting integration.

Last Word: The 4 p.m. Blues

If today the world and the self are devalued, as Walker Percy has suggested, art—particularly the novel— can awaken the reader to their recovery from '4 p.m. blues.'

Letters | Anointing the Sick, a Callous Court, James Agee

Readers offer a remedy for the church's "unction dysfunction," another disturbing aspect of the Supreme Court's lethal-injection ruling, and more on James Agee.

'A God in Ruins'

Centered around the missing bomber pilot from 'Life After Life,' Atkinson's 'A God in Ruins' examines the interplay of real life and the life of the imagination.

Letters of James Agee to Father Flye

Spanning almost James Agee's entire lifetime, these letters between author and his priest cover alcohol, God, poetry, childhood, and a “mouthful of sweet potato.”

Bookmarks | How Racism Speaks

Claudia Rankine’s 'Citizen' and Jeffery Renard Allen’s 'Song of the Shank' both take up the issue of race in America in jagged and beautiful poetry and prose.

Commonweal Interviews

Featuring the best of our interviews—including Woody Allen, Jorge Luis Borges, Mary Gordon, (Sister) Elizabeth McAlister, Christian Wiman, and Mario Cuomo...

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.

'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.

The Republic of Imagination

Iranian author Azar Nafiri defends the value of canonical American literature—its imagination and humanity—against Common Core, market analyses, and Babbitt.

An Interview with Kirstin Valdez Quade

The award-winning author of the story collection 'Night at the Fiestas' talks about her influences, the importance of empathy in fiction, and washing altar cloths.
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