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Books

Everything Under Is a Dark and Mesmerizing Story About Fate

The 27-year-old author, Daisy Johnson, pulls off several marvels at once in her debut novel, which made the Man Booker Prize shortlist.

The Confounding Truth About Frederick Douglass

His champions now span the ideological spectrum, but left and right miss the tensions in his views.

Capturing Europe’s Refugee Crisis Through Comics

In her graphic memoir, Drawn to Berlin, Ali Fitzgerald uses art to illuminate the human dimensions of a situation often sketched in statistics.

A portrait of Giacomo Puccini with an inscription to the soprano Rose Ader

Rehabilitating Puccini

The immense popularity of operas such as Tosca or La Bohème has long rendered the composer suspect in high-minded circles—but opinion within the academy is catching up with audiences.

Jack Reacher Still Won’t Quit, 23 Books Later

The literary hero’s coffee-chugging, cigarette-devouring creator, Lee Child, just released his latest novel. He shows no signs of slowing down.

Illustration: Lucia Berlin

Lucia Berlin’s Harrowing, Radiant Fiction

Having lived a hard life, the late author refused to erase her female characters—or the brutality that deranges them.

The Quandary of Illustrating Anne Frank

A graphic adaptation of the teenage Holocaust victim’s diary calls into question which avenues are best for retelling painful, complicated histories.

The Everlasting Joy of Terrifying Children

Pop-horror writers like R. L. Stine see fear and storytelling the way the Victorians did.

How to Write Consent in Romance Novels

The genre has historically offered up plotlines that range from uncomfortable moments of pursuit to nos that imply yes. One author discusses her decision to go about it differently.

What Happens After You Become the ‘Most Famous Undocumented Immigrant in America’

In his memoir, the journalist Jose Antonio Vargas attempts to tell the story of his own life while recognizing that he’s often viewed as a voice for millions.

The Real Horror in The Haunting of Hill House

The Netflix adaptation discards the authentic fear at the heart of Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel.

The Decades-Old Novel That Presages Today’s Fight for Facts

Uwe Johnson’s magnum opus Anniversaries, which catalogs the life of its protagonist for the span of a year, is a sharp exploration of the daily effort to preserve shared truths.

Paddington Bear and the Displaced Child

Growing up, one writer saw the beloved character as a mascot for the Latin American immigrant experience. Sixty years after Paddington’s debut book was published, his story still feels relevant.

Barbara Kingsolver’s Superficial View of the American Family in the Trump Era

The first U.S. novel to treat the 2016 election at length aims for timeliness rather than genuine insight into a dramatic political moment.

The Unstable Identities of The Caregiver

Samuel Park’s last novel explores how one person’s sense of self can be absorbed into another’s need.

How Writing ‘My Struggle’ Undid Knausgaard

The iconoclastic author, whose six-volume autobiographical novel is now complete in English, has lost his faith in radical self-exposure. What happened?

The Remarkable Rise of the Feminist Dystopia

A spate of women-authored speculative fiction imagines detailed worlds of widespread infertility, criminalized abortion, and flipped power dynamics.

The Personal Cost of Black Success

Two new memoirs trace their authors’ rise into the meritocratic elite, confronting pernicious myths and brutal realities along the way.

What’s the Loneliest You’ve Ever Felt?

The author started a project on loneliness by asking this simple question. Many people quickly recounted experiences, often with surprising specificity.

A Literary Companion for Insomniacs

Marina Benjamin’s new memoir aims to soothe the sleepless.