The Books Briefing: Stories From America’s Prisons
Books written by incarcerated writers raise vital questions about how we can build a more just society: Your weekly guide to the best in books
Who You’re Reading When You Read Haruki Murakami
His early translated works, the subject of a fascinating new book, shed light on the business of bringing the best-selling novelist to a global audience.
Marilynne Robinson’s Prodigal Son
Her new novel, Jack, explores the loneliest character in her Gilead series and the legacy of race.
Caleb Crain on Math, Solitude, and the Nature of Time
“For a long time, I was a pretty strict realist, but lately I seem to be relenting.”
A short story
A New Theory of Western Civilization
Could a marriage policy first pursued by the Catholic Church a millennium and a half ago explain what made the industrialized world so powerful—and so peculiar?
The Books Briefing: Imagining Black Futures
Afrofuturism draws from the history of the African diaspora to imagine liberatory possibilities for the future: Your weekly guide to the best in books
Claudia Rankine’s Quest for Racial Dialogue
Is her focus on the personal out of step with the racial politics of our moment?
A poem for Sunday
The Books Briefing: Poetry of the Past, in the Present
Finding relevance in archival poetry: Your weekly guide to the best in books
Life on the Road Is More Than Inspiration for Your Novel
Héctor Tobar gives fictional travelogues an intervention with the cheeky, self-aware The Last Great Road Bum.
A poem by Mona Van Duyn, published in The Atlantic in 1986
The Books Briefing: The Legacy of a Political Speech
Reflecting on the art of speechwriting during the Democratic National Convention: Your weekly guide to the best in books
Catastrophe Is Next to Godliness
A poem for Sunday
Yaa Gyasi on the Mysteries of Faith and Reason
“I’d never written fiction that stays with a single character for hundreds of pages; it almost felt like too much freedom.”
When My Mother Came to Stay
New fiction from Yaa Gyasi
This Is What Happens When Society ‘Has to Function’
The Disaster Tourist, a grim satire of capitalism, resonates during a pandemic that has revealed the brutal calculus of “essential work.”
What Ever Happened to the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife?
A conversation with Ariel Sabar about the stranger-than-fiction story of a Harvard professor, a con artist, and a papyrus fragment that made front-page news
Venus of Willendorf
A poem by Yusef Komunyakaa, published in The Atlantic in 1998