Two new novels get not-nice just right
One wonders if Publishers Weekly contributor Annasue McCleave Wilson wishes she could get a do-over.
The absurdity of the literary read-aloud
What accounts for the proliferation of the literary read-out-loud?
What does New York City’s new bike-share program have in common with the special police forces being set up in India to protect female tourists from rape? The answer can be found in Margaret Atwood’s recent science-fiction trilogy: Oryx & Crake, The Year of the Flood, and Maddadam (the third volume will be published in September). In these dystopic novels, cities have been divided into two parts. There are the gated and firmly policed compounds inhabited by scientists and the executives of biotech corporations, and there is everywhere else. If you aren’t a “compounder,” a happy inhabitant of one such amenity-rich compound, then you’re a “pleeblander,” a plebian relegated to the pleeblands, whose streets are filled with garbage and dominated by gangs, themselves run by corrupt private security forces totally uninterested in your safety or wellbeing.
The story of WWII deserters
A new book goes deep into the desertion of WWII soldiers.
A novel takes on the social issue du jour
The tricky problem of the obese character.
Why having just one kid is better than you think
Don't worry about having just one kid. It probably doesn't matter.
Has history overtaken the former wild child of sexual conversation?
What happens when the dictators are gone?
A generation of novelists is testing the bounds of memory.
A bold proposal by one of our best historians of psychiatry for how to make sense of the puzzling disease
The different forms of depression have been hard to keep straight for centuries. One of our best historians of psychiatry has a bold proposal for making sense of the disease.
The rich history—and rich present—of a unique art form
Two excellent historians of opera have written a large and ebullient history of opera. It is odd that the book should end with a whimper, but it does.