George Saunders Conducts a Cheery Class on Fiction’s Possibilities

I’m making the book sound revoltingly technical. It isn’t. Saunders lives in the synapses — he looks at all the minute and meaningful decisions that produce a sentence, a paragraph,…

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Poem: Variation on a Theme by Elizabeth Bishop

The remix, the allusion, the pulling something from the past, even when it doesn’t feel as if it’s your past, and making something of the moment with it. Riffing off…

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How ‘Orwellian’ Became an All-Purpose Insult

After the events of last week, one has to wonder whether Josh Hawley — for all of his prep school polish and Ivy League degrees — was fully cognizant of…

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In ‘Aftershocks,’ a Search for Home in a Life Around the World

In Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon,” the character Pilate Dead is missing a navel, making her an object of both suspicion and awe. She was, as she says in the…

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Was the Constitution a Pro-Slavery Document?

In making their case that the Constitution favored freedom over slavery, the antislavery Northerners interpreted and parsed every part of it as imaginatively as possible, seeking to whittle away at…

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6 Books to Understand the Precarious Political Moment

6 Books to Understand the Precarious Political Moment Jennifer SzalaiReviewing nonfiction books ‘The Anatomy of Fascism,’ by Robert O. Paxton Paxton’s book, which was published in 2004, shines a striking…

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