From TLS, a review of The New York Stories of Edith Wharton. A review of Geoffrey Hartman's A Scholar's Tale: Intellectual Journey of a Displaced Child of Europe. A review of Swimming in a Sea of Death: A Son's Memoir by David Rieff. A review of Touch and Go: A Memoir by Studs Terkel (and more). Romancing the locomotive: A review of Soul and Other Stories by Andrey Platonov. An interview with Ian McEwan on why atheists crave atonement, his long-lost brother and Martin Amis’s beef with radical Islam. From Harper's, an article on Washington Irving’s legend of the Arabian astrologer. Richard Ford is the dazzling chronicler of the real America; he talks about suburban beauty, literary "product" — and why the country is in danger. A review of The Temptation of the Impossible: Victor Hugo and Les Miserables by Mario Vargas Llosa. Out of South Africa: Did J. M. Coetzee leave the land of his birth because the government denounced one of his books as racist? The moral agent: Joseph Conrad wrote action-packed adventure stories, which were also modernist classics — Giles Foden celebrates an enduring master on the 150th anniversary of his birth.