The insanity of ideology—including religious fundamentalism—is the subject of James Meek’s best-selling 2005 novel The People’s Act of Love. Set in 1919 in a desolate corner of Siberia, the story coheres around a battalion of Czech soldiers waiting patiently for the Red Army to come and finish them
There are a few constants in Jim Shepard's fiction. The first is disaster: war, divorce, scientific catastrophes, murder, acts of God. The second is primary-source research. Along with human drama, a Shepard story serves up all sorts of facts: about the Cenozoic Era, Japanese cinema, handgun specs...
In a career that has never quite stood still, Paula Fox has been a journalist, a teacher, a model, a machinist, and, most notably, the author of novels, memoirs, and more than twenty children's books. Her profile has risen over the past fifteen years, with writers such as Jonathan Franzen, David
Near the beginning of Swiss writer Peter Stamm's bleak new novel, Seven Years, ten-year-old Sophie innocently asks for someone to fetch her a glass of orange juice at the gallery opening her parents, Alex and Sonia, have taken her to. Irritated, Alex snaps at his daughter and tells her to stop ordering
Lynne Tillman's characters inhabit language the way others live in rooms and cities. It's not that they are made only of words—all literary characters are—or that they don't have their own versions of material longings, needs, attachments, and obstructions. What's different is that they are attuned
Classic noir repetition, impasse, entanglement, and terminus. The elegantly brutal, deadpan crime fictions of Jean-Patrick Manchette (1942–1995), created in the reverberation of the events of May 1968 in Paris, exploded those distress signals into static and silence.
In an interview published in the winter 2010 issue of the Paris Review, Jonathan Franzen said to Stephen Burn, "I've never felt less self-consciously preoccupied with language than I did when I was writing Freedom. Over and over again, as I was producing chapters, I said to myself, 'This feels nothing
In his introduction to Democracy in America, that epic tale of a young country told by an aristocrat from an old one, Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville predicted that many of his readers would criticize his work. His account of the New World experiment was "not precisely suited to anybody's taste; in