Two recent novels by Nigerian expats have explored the limits of the novel of ideas.
A professor turns a blog post into a troubling book
Burt has written well about more poets than more or less anyone who isn’t twice his age. What's not to love?
The unhinged psalms of Dean Young
Dean Young is one of the most distinguished mid-career poets in America. His new book of new and selected poems shows how he has emerged from a dire medical condition to write the best poems of his life.
A researcher spent 38 years asking whether his college classmates were happy. You don't have to have been in his class to learn something from the results.
A translator who puts his mark on poems—a bit too strongly.
IF LOUISE GLUCK had released a Collected Poems a dozen years ago, we would have known what to make of her. She was a walking dysphemism, a blade without a handle, a poet so intent on “unmasking … the ordinary to reveal the tragic,” as she put it, that any sign of kindness prompted bitter cynicism. “Mothers weep at their daughters’ weddings,/ everyone knows that, though/ for whose youth one cannot say,” she wrote in 1985. “My father liked/ to stand like this, to hold me/ so he couldn’t see me” (1990).