Our Authors

César Aira

On the occasion of his birthday, novelist César Aira makes a plan

David Alff

On Parking (by Henry Grabar)

On Quarantine (by Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley)

On Road Ecology

Natalie Angier

On Eugenia Cheng

On Isabella Tree’s Wilding

Noga Arikha

Stories and Neurology

Calvin Baker

Music and Liberation

On David Blight’s Frederick Douglass

Nicholson Baker (drawings)

Alain Corbin (reading)

Rachel Ingalls

Michael Kimmelman (reading)

Clarice Lispector

Charles Portis

Cristina Rivera Garza

Colm Tóibín (reading)

Irene Vallejo (reading)

John Balaban

On the Tale of Kieu

John Banville

On Jonathan Meiburg's “A Most Remarkable Creature”

On Robert Macfarlane's Underland

On Seir. Johan Eklöf’s “The Darkness Manifesto”

On James Marcus’s Emerson

Jazmina Barrera

Readers, Writers, Mothers

Polina Barskova

On Varlam Shalamov

Madison Smartt Bell

On George Garrett

On Rumer Godden

Yevgenia Belorusets

The Stars

Christopher Benfey

Election Day

My Ántonia reading group

On Austrian storyteller Adalbert Stifter

On Hunting in America (by Philip Dray)

On Learning Remotely

On Mark Doty’s Whitman

On the Radical Transcendentalists (by Robert A. Gross)

The Kite Contest

April Bernard

A Reader's Hygge

Catastrophe and Poetry

Colette’s World and Ours

On Angela Carter

On “Dreyer‘s English”

On Elizabeth Hardwick

On Hilary Mantel

On Janet Malcolm

Emily Bernard

On Imani Perry's Lorraine Hansberry

On Margaret Walker (by Maryemma Graham)

On Saidiya Hartman’s ”Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments”

Wendell Berry

The Writer Going Home

Reginald Dwayne Betts

Letter to Yusef Komunyakaa

Matthew Bevis

On Elizabeth Bishop

On Charles Lamb

Sven Birkerts

35 Magnolia

A Diary

Elaine Blair

On Lucia Berlin

On Oyinkan Braithwaite

On Sally Rooney

On Sylvia Townsend Warner

Robert Block

On Chasing New Horizons (by Alan Stern)

On Chasing New Horizons, an update

On Jessica Stern’s Karadzic

Mark Bourrie

Local News One Farmer at a Time, The Rise of George McCullagh

Peter Brooks

On Alex Ross’s “Wagnerism”

On Sally Rooney, Philosophy and the Boudoir

The lost manuscripts of Proust

What is a libertine?

On Robert Darnton’s “Revolutionary Temper”

Amina Cain

On Solitude

Allen Callahan

On Henry Louis Gates’s “The Black Church”

On Karen Armstrong and John Barton

On Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (by Scot McKnight)

On Reading the Bible While Black (by Esau McCulley)

On Temple Folk and How to Say Babylon (by Aaliyah Bilal and Safiya Sinclair)

On the Book of Job (by Edward Greenstein)

On “God’s Ghostwriters”

Jorge Carrion

The World’s Most Important Libraries Aren’t the Ones You Think They Are

Christian Caryl

On Colin Thubron, Vibrant Fatalist

On Edward Gorey

On Jeffrey Lewis’s new Doomsday

On Jósef Czapski

On The Triumph of Christianity (by Bart Ehlman)

Rebecca Chace

A House Made of Books

On Francine Prose’s ”The Vixen”

On N. K. Jemisin

Rebecca Chace on Lampedusa’s Island

Rebecca Chace travels to Wyoming with Gretel Ehrlich

Sarah Chayes

On Amaryllis Fox

On The Dawn of Everything (by David Graeber and David Wengrow)

On Wade Davis

On Zephyr Teachout and Monopoly

Peter Cherches

Deal with the Devil

My Crisis

Peter Cherches finds his frightening simplicity

Variations On a Theme, from Thelonious Monk and Billie Holiday

Éric Chevillard

Hegel’s Cap

Phil Christman

Inventing the Midwest

Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton Remembers

Jamie Cohen

On Stewart Brand (by John Markoff)

Rachel Cohen

A Chance Meeting: Sarah Orne Jewett

Maryse Conde

I was a book reviewer in Paris

Anna Julia Cooper

Learning and the hidden struggle of women

There is no such things as “mere culture“

Robert Cottrell

New books on Europe’s east

On John McPhee

Caleb Crain

On Pauline Kerschen

Mark Danner

On a New Biography of George Kennan (by Frank Costigliola)

Tracy Daugherty

On Cormac McCarthy

On Tim O’Brien

Kathryn Davis

On Jane Eyre, Classics Illustrated No. 39

On Walking

Who Wrote the Fairy Tales

Anna DeForest

On Victoria Chang’s ”Obit”

Samuel Delany

Crisis and Experiment 

Andrew Delbanco

On Ursula Parrott

Jeff Deutsch

On Organizing Books, i.e., Ordaining the Universe

Rachel DeWoskin (with Kirun Kapur)

Alone & Remembering Poetry Class in a Time of Pandemic, with Derek Walcott

Anthony Domestico

On Carl Phillips

On Charles Portis

On Eleanor Catton

On Gary Snyder

On Lauren Oyler

On Louise Glück

On Marilynne Robinson

On Sigrid Nunez

On Sybille Bedford

On Yiyun Li

On J. Robert Lennon

Jesse Donaldson

On Foxfire’s Appalachia (by Phil Hudgins and Jessica Phillips for Foxfire)

Hugh Eakin

Apollinaire and Picasso, Friendship in a Plague Year

On Alfred Stieglitz (by Phyllis Rose)

On Gertrude Stein's Barnstorming American Tour (by Roy Morris, Jr.)

On Philip Johnson (by Mark Lamster)

Lucy Ellmann

On Not Going Into Bookstores

Álvaro Enrigue

On Cristina Rivera Garza

On Gabriel García Márquez

On José Emilio Pacheco

On Juan Carlos Onetti

On Roberto Bolaño

On Roque Larraquy

On Samanta Schweblin

Brian Fagan

On the last of the whalers (by Russell Fielding)

On the Pollock Fishery (by Kevin Bailey)

On Tom Seeley, Bee Detective

On the Taste and Ecology of Water

Olive Fellows

Letter from Pittsburgh

Carolyn Ferrell

We must trust in what is difficult

Ruth Franklin

On Susan Orlean’s “The Library Book”

Ian Frazier

On Lists

Favorite Book (“True Grit” by Charles Portis)

Chas Freeman

On China’s military (by M. Taylor Fravel)

Benjamin Friedman

On Deaths of Despair (by Anne Case and Angus Deaton)

On the Origins of Cash (by Dror Goldberg)

Katie Gaddini

On “Nonverts” (by Stephen Bullivant)

Atul Gawande

On Oliver Sacks

Kim Ghattas

On Alaa Abd el-Fattah

Robert Gipe

On Chris Hamby‘s “Soul Full of Coal Dust”

Misha Glenny

On Sarah Chayes’s “Corruption in America”

On “The Bridge On the Drina” (by Ivo Andric)

Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr.

On Iman Mersal

Charles Greaber

New Books on Altered States

Irena Grudzińska Gross

On Europe‘s ”Ghost Citizens” (by Łukasz Krzyżanowski)

On the Polish national novel, Pan Tadeusz

Durs Grünbein

Linguistic Devastation

John Guare

On Elaine Stritch (by Alexandra Jacobs)

On Sondheim 

The Secret Room: On Hermione Lee’s Tom Stoppard

Sue Halpern

Sue Halpern and Her Town Build a Library

Giles Harvey

On Amy Hempel

Zoë Heller

On Jean Rhys (by Miranda Seymour)

Sean Hill 

This Land Is My Land

Adam Hochschild

Unsung Heroes in Hitler’s Germany (by Mark Roseman)

Michael Idov

On John le Carré

On Ukrainian novelist Serhiy Zhadan

Emmanuel Iduma

On The Great Kingdoms of Africa (by John Parker)

Lawrence Jackson

On Percival Everett

Christine Jacobson

On Anthony Grafton’s “Inky Fingers”

Janet Webster Jones

The Bookseller’s Voice

Franz Kafka

Kafka Argues with His Publishers 

Eric Kandel

On the Beholder’s Share 

Kirun Kapur (with Rachel DeWoskin)

Alone & Remembering Poetry Class in a Time of Pandemic, with Derek Walcott

Robert Karron

On Lucy Ellmann

On Helen Dewitt

On Robert Stone 

On Roy Jacobson

Jane Katch

On Mr. Rogers (by Maxwell King)

Sarah Kerr

On “Bad Mexicans” (by Kelly Lytle Hernandez)

On Carlos Bulosan

On Gina Apostol

Jamaica Kincaid

A Letter to Robinson Crusoe

I was never really making a garden so much as having a conversation

The Kind of Gardener I Am Not

The Walk to Robert Frost’s House

Entries from an Encyclopedia of Gardening for Colored Children

Stephen Kinzer

On the US military and climate change (by Michael T. Klare)

Adam Kirsch

On Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law (by Chaim Saiman)

Marianna Kiyanovska

Voices of the Lost

Ann Kjellberg

A Bookstore Grows in the Bronx

A Notebook on Notes

Advance Copy

Advanced Study

Alpha and Omega

Amazon and the Booksellers‘ Valentine

Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction


Book news in a time of quarantine

Book Post: Origin Story

Book Thoughts in the Age of Shutdown

Booksellers Look Ahead

Bookselling at the Crossroads

Borrower and a Lender Be

Boxed Out


Classroom Libraries

DIY Books

Editing in a Perilous Year

Freedom and Kindness


Great American Read-a-long

Happy Holidays, buy local!

Heartland Vistas

Hived Mind

Holiday Book Flood

If You Give It Away



Into the Heartland

Isn’t it romantic?

Librarians to the Rescue

Local Control 

Making & Unmaking Magazines

Meet the Small Presses

Memorial, Memorials, Memory, History 


On Adam Zagajewski

On Jonathan Franzen

One of these mornings, the chain is going to break …

On Susan Sontag

On the Road with Bookmobiles

On the Way to the Forum

Paperback Writers

Predicting for Text

Prison Writing, Prison Reading

Reading Together, Reading Apart

Real Time 

Return of the Freestanding Book Review!


Spanish Interlude

Streaming Away

Summer Reading

The AI We Live Now

The Book Fair Returns! 

The Book Givers

The Facebook Files, Writing, and Journalism

The Persistent Idyll of the Second-hand Bookshop 

The Writer of the Future

Thought Plutocrats

Two Ceremonies


Who Killed the Humanities?

Word Workers

Writing and War

Writing in the Crosshairs

Writing, and Journalism

Year-end Book Lists, The Way We Read Now

July 5, 2018

August 5, 2018

September 4, 2018

September 24, 2018

November 5, 2018

January 25, 2019

April 21, 2019

February 6, 2020

Our Partner Booksellers

Astoria Bookshop

Black Stone Bookstore

Browseabout Books

Deep Vellum Books

Gibson’s Bookstore


Left Bank Books in St. Louis

Mac’s Backs


Print: A Bookstore

Raven Books

Seminary Co-op and 57th Street Books

Source Booksellers

Square Books


Michael Klein

On Kathryn Scanlan at the racetrack

Lorraine Kreahling

On Balzac

Alexandra Lange

On Danish Modern (by Maggie Taft)

On Disneyland (by Richard Snow)

David Leavitt

A Small Genre (The Lisbon Novel)

On Andrew Holleran

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

On Anna DeForest

The Original Queens of Stand-Up (by Shawn Levy)

James Ledbetter

On an Oral History of The Village Voice

Thea Lenarduzzi

Language Families

Alain Locke

Art or Propaganda?

Edward Lucas

On Ian Kershaw’s Europe

J. Vanessa Lyon

All the Better to See You With

Jean McGarry

A Girls’ Education

A new edition of Henry James

How to Write About Food

James Joyce’s Christmas Feasting

On My Dark Room (by Julie Park)

On Dr. Johnson

On Natalia Ginzburg

Jeff Madrick

On American Jobs (by David Blanchflower)

On the Subminimum Wage (by Saru Jayaraman)

John Maher

Pandemic Book Sales, What Really Happened?

J. S. Marcus

On Robert Walser (by Susan Bernofsky)

Wyatt Mason

On Bohumil Hrabal’s “All My Cats”

On Garth Greenwell

On László Krasznahorkai

On William T. Vollmann

Glyn Maxwell

Dark Canadee, an imagined workshop in a real lockdown

On Edward Lear

Edward Mendelson

On Hugh Eakin’s ”Picasso‘s War”

On the History of Protestantism (by Alec Ryrie)

On “The Last Englishmen” (by Deborah Baker)

On Translating the Bible

On Typography (by Paul Luna)

Lincoln Michel

On Caleb Crain

Ange Mlinko

On an Eliot Centenary

On John Berryman

Poets Translating (On Simon Armitage and others)

On Emily Dickinson’s Letters

Ray Monk

On newly published private diaries of Ludwig Wittgenstein

John Moran

Reading Florida, Finding Flannery

Stephen Mortland

Reading Akutagawa

Priyamvada Natarajan

On Ainissa Ramirez and Modern-Day Alchemy

On Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

On Martin Rees, Futurist

Judith Newman

On Craig Brown’s “Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret”

John Oakes

On Silence (Part 1)

On Silence (Part 2)

Geoffrey O’Brien

Arabian Nights of 1934

On Marvin Gaye 

On Raymond Queneau’s The Blue Flowers

On Robert Bresson

Paris—Dream of book lovers

Meghan O’Gieblyn

On Barbara Kingsolver’s “Unsheltered”

On Writing the Midwest

Eugene Ostashevsky

On Yevgenia Belorusets

Tim Parks

Thinking about Thinking

James W. C. Pennington

What Shall We Do with the White People? (1860)

Alex Pheby

The death of James Joyce, as seen by his daughter Lucia (Northampton, 1941)

Bill Porter

On Eliot Weinberger’s Life of Tu Fu

Padgett Powell

Eff the Classics 

On Donald Barthelme

On Peter Taylor

On William Trevor

On William Trevor, a postscript

On Ivan Turgenev

Charles Willeford, Known Pulpist

Julia Preston

On an Epic Account of Central American Immigration

Francine Prose

On David Leavitt

Stephen Pyne

A Personal History of Fire

On the National Parks (by Gary Machlis and Michael Soukup)

Yasmine El Rashidi

On Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

Erik Reece

On Rachel Carson

Spencer Reece

Reading Hopkins

On Aaron Shulman’s ”The Age of Disenchantments”

Elliot Reed

On Shane Bauer’s “American Prison”

On Rachel Kushner’s “The Mars Room”

Michael Robbins

On Allen Ginsberg

On Paul Muldoon

Proust and the Grateful Dead

On Rilke

On Wild Souls (by Emma Marris)

World in Flames

Days of Unserious Reading

Luis Rodriguez

A Writer‘s Journey

Abby Rosebrock

Playwriting as Labor and Literature

Charles Rosen

The Performer as Critic

Robert Rosenfeld

A little history of American math books

Alex Ross

On John Luther Adams

Ingrid Rowland

A Journey to Ravenna! (by Judith Herrin)

On “The Merits of Women” (by Virginia Cox)

Sumana Roy

Exhaust Pipe

Forest Education 

On Surdas

Do Trees Laugh?

Sarah Ruden

On Marilynne Robinson’s Genesis

Eric Schlosser

On Serhii Plokhy, A history of nuclear disaster

Anakana Schofield

Midway On Two Journeys (On Deborah Levy and Oliver Sacks)

On Jorge Carrión’s “Bookshops: A Reader’s History”

On Jenny Diski

On Vivian Gornick

On Xiaolu Guo

On Fleur Jaeggy

The Nun of Kenmare

On the Secret Life of Cows (by Rosamond Young)

On Rosemary Tonks

On Two Books About Animals (by Susan Orlean and Thalia Field)

On Clarice Lispector

On Zito Madu

Arthur Schwartz

On Rome’s Jewish cooking (by Leah Koenig)

Madeleine Schwartz

On Letitia Elizabeth Landon (by Lucasta Miller)

Brandon Shimoda

A House that No Longer Exists

Charles Simic

What is a prose poem?

Mona Simpson

On Lewis Hyde

Summer Reading: Middlemarch

Orville Schell

On Simon Leys (by Philippe Paquet)

Hagith Sivan

How old is the Hebrew Bible? (by Ronald Hendel and Jan Joosten)

Women and the Religion of Ancient Israel (by Susan Ackerman)

Street Literacy

Katy Simpson Smith

On the wartime letters of General and Mrs. Grant

A. L. Snijders

A. L. Snijders in the country (Translated by Lydia Davis)

Laura J. Snyder

On William James

Octavio Solis

Saturdays in Juárez

Christopher Sorrentino

A Writer’s Childhood

Maria Stepanova

On Nadezhda Mandelstam, Literature and Truth

George R. Stewart

Life of a Storm

Patricia Storace

A Christmas present

Asparagus and the Culinary Saint

At Table with Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy 

Christmas ghosts and a treat with chestnuts

Clever Grethel’s Roast Chicken

Idella’s Crisp Biscuits, a Florida recipe

My Dinner With Ismail

The Greatest Food Writer

James Stotts

On the Adventures of Maqroll (by Álvaro Mutis)

John Terborgh

On the Insect Apocalypse (by Dave Goulson)

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

The Politics of Translation

Colin Thubron

On Süleyman the Magnificent (by Christopher de Bellaigue and Kaya Şahin)

Karim Tiro

On “Plymouth Colony”

Isabella Tree

On Dan Flores’ “Wild New World”

Victoria Uren

On Ge Fei’s “Peach Blossom Paradise”

On the “Lin Lan” Chinese fairy tales

Anne Waldman

Bard Kinetic

Marina Warner

On “Accidental Gods” (by Anna Della Subin)

On Margaret Atwood

Living in Latin

Quarantine Diary

Viva la Befana!

Rosanna Warren

On “Letters to Camondo” (by Edmund de Waal)

Joshua Whitehead

Writing as Relation and Rupture

Joy Williams

Hemingway and His Houses

On Colm Toíbín

On Fernando Pessoa, et al.

On J. M. Coetzee

On Jim Gauer

On Leonora Carrington

On Mário de Andrade

On Maya Binyam

On Meister Eckhart (by Joel Harrington)

On Merrill Gilfillan

On Pip Adam

On Rachel Ingalls

On Richard Flanagan

On Richard Powers’ “The Overstory”

On “The Uninhabitable Earth” (by David Wallace-Wells)

On Vladimir Sorokin

On W. G. Sebald (by Carole Angier)

On Leonora Carrington

Tobias Wolff

On Harry Crews’ “A Childhood: The Biography of a Place”

Carter G. Woodson


Mark Wunderlich

The National Book Award for Poetry

Renee Xia

On the Plight of the Uyghurs (by Sean R. Roberts)

Cynthia Zarin

A Fin Passing Far Out

Love Trouble (Shirley Hazzard and Laurie Colwin)

On Alan Garner

On Colm Toibin’s “The Empty Family”

On Elena Ferrante

On John Burningham