Rodney Dangerfield once had a joke that began, “I said to a bartender, ‘Make me a zombie.’” The bartender’s response: “God beat me to it.” In Aleksandar Hemon’s new novel, The Making of Zombie Wars, there are plenty of people who have been made into the walking dead without their knowing it. As for
Powered by Yiddish, neologisms, ten-dollar words, and jive talk, Oreo, Fran Ross’s scabrous, shrewd satire of race, religion, and sex that’s nested within a reimagining of Theseus’s odyssey, often threatens to jump out of the reader’s hands with its irrepressible logophilia. This is a novel that
Hanya Yanagihara’s second novel asks for a kind of immersion at odds with the practices of contemporary attention-deficit culture. A Little Life is epic in scope, riveting on every page, and frequently stomach-churning in its explorations of pain and loss. The novel takes up the stories of four
Ottessa Moshfegh’s narrators exhibit a curious combination of extreme moral nihilism and a desperate need for violent, unforgettable experiences. Eileen, her new and best novel, is a love story told by a young woman who doesn’t understand love and who is leaving behind the only man she really loves,
Claudia Rankine, who won the MacArthur "Genius" grant today, explored the "anatomy of American racism in the new millennium" in Citizen, "a slender, musical book that arrives with the force of a thunderclap."
We now see a new kind of migration: that of the cosmopolitan, the emigrant, the exile pushed out into the world, spreading away from the imperial center. The protagonists begin in the metropoles and often end up in the provinces. Consummate insiders—bankers, lawyers, doctors, professors—they find themselves on the outside. In a state of seemingly endless movement, this new figure finds him- or herself a perennial stranger.
Much of Rachel Cusk's work seeks to describe scenes objectively, and both the benefits and limits of that objectivity are visible in Outline. Cusk's restraint, while elegant, also comes across as withholding.
The first time I read The Laughing Monsters, I found it easy to love line by line—Denis Johnson’s prose, as always, is incandescent—but as scenes and chapters piled up I struggled to sustain a sense, however provisional, of what it was actually about, beyond the obvious: that the narrator is a corrupt
Eugene O’Neill has been heralded as the father of American theater since at least 1962. That year, Arthur and Barbara Gelb’s O’Neill championed the Irish American playwright as a hero and crowned Long Day’s Journey into Night the greatest American play—and also the most autobiographical. There’s
Joshua Ferris's fiction reverses the daily grind—characters wake up at the office and gradually wind their way home, to a place they wouldn't have recognized at the beginning of the day. His novels are meditations on labor and alienation in contemporary America, stocked with characters for whom life is a disease at once mediated, ameliorated, and worsened by work.