Jan. 22, 2016 | Translators rarely become celebrities. Ann Goldstein — translator of Elena Ferrante, Jhumpa Lahiri, Primo Levi -- is an exception... more »

Jan. 21, 2016 | This is the era of the first sentence: supposedly a writer's only chance to entice a reader. Too often, however, a great first sentence is the only great sentence... more »

Jan. 20, 2016 | Triumphant yet beleaguered, liberalism is oddly hard to define. Is this evidence of an intellectual tradition that has lost coherence and credibility?... more »

Jan. 19, 2016 | Does it matter if the world is beautiful? It does to Frank Wilczek. His laws of nature are exuberant, harmonious, and symmetrical... more »

Jan. 18, 2016 | Every four seconds, Lee Child sells a book somewhere in the world. His daily regimen: 26 cigarettes, 19 cups of coffee, 2,000 words... more »

Jan. 16, 2016 | When Peter Lewis hired Frank Gehry, the estimate was $5 million. The cost would reach $82.5 million. But Lewis wasn't mad; a starchitect can do no wrong... more »

Jan. 15, 2016 | As society is pelted by sinister acts -- terrorism, surveillance, random violence -- "chick lit" is out. “Chick noir” is in... more »

Jan. 14, 2016 | Think of the great theorists of the past century. All European, right? Benedict Anderson proposes two American exceptions: Noam Chomsky and Milton Friedman... more »

Jan. 13, 2016 | “The most difficult thing about doing fieldwork is remembering who you are,” said Erving Goffman. Enter his daughter Alice, an ethnographer…... more »

Jan. 12, 2016 | In awe of his older brother, William, Henry James declared himself inadequate — to his family, as well as to the times. It improved his writing markedly... more »

Jan. 11, 2016 | The first email was sent in 1971. Since then email has gone from obscure to beloved to barely tolerated. Yet it endures. Why?... more »

Jan. 9, 2016 | All roads of American modernism didn't run through James Laughlin, but many of them intersected there... more »

Jan. 8, 2016 | America’s most colorful academic? Maybe the renegade biologist Robert Trivers, a brawler and former Black Panther with some near-death experiences... more »

Jan. 7, 2016 | John Clare claimed to be Shakespeare, Lord Byron, and Sir Walter Scott. His poetry, like the asylum he inhabited, was a place of introspection, delusions, and despair... more »

Jan. 6, 2016 | A new model for the literary review? Tom Lutz’s Los Angeles Review of Books invites academics to avoid scholarly stuffiness... more »

Jan. 5, 2016 | "Money may not immediately kill people in the way terrorism does," says Luc Sante, "but it does change the fabric of daily life in much deeper and more insidious ways"... more »

Jan. 4, 2016 | The jurist as aesthete. Another side of the famously irascible Richard Posner is revealed in a book he wrote when he was 20: Yeats’ Late Poetry... more »

Jan. 2, 2016 | Intelligent, humane, suitably melancholy, The New Yorker at 90 has managed that rare thing in publishing: staying relevant... more »

Jan. 1, 2016 | Beloved by Montaigne, belittled by Voltaire and Napoleon, Tacitus was a literary artist, moralist, and historian — but in what order?... more »

Dec. 31, 2015 | The oldest art. Storytelling brings us together and helps us make sense of the world. It’s also primed for deception — and con artists have taken note... more »

Dec. 30, 2015 | The plight of the German-Jewish intellectual. For Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt, and Gershom Scholem, “love of Israel” was a complicated issue... more »

Dec. 29, 2015 | Do Hansel and Gretel have inner lives? Not according to Phillip Pullman. "There is no psychology in a fairy tale," he insists — wrongly... more »

Dec. 28, 2015 | When the heroes of one era become the villains of another, the past is refought by the stone and bronze statues of piazzas, parks, and city streets... more »

Dec. 26, 2015 | The constrained scope, the proportional structure, the "handsome, clever and rich" heroine who is somehow likeable: Emma is the perfect novel... more »

Dec. 25, 2015 | In 1896, Paul Gauguin painted a young Polynesian woman with baby in a barn. Odd choice for a dissolute adherent of the
avant-garde... more »

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