Fiction

How Kafka Actually Lived

He did not transcend his Jewishness, no matter what Updike claimed

Kafka did not transcend his Jewishness, no matter what Updike claimed.

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Does therapy help or hurt the writing process?

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Willa Cather's Correspondence Reveals Something New

The rage of a great American novelist

If there is a secret lurking in Cather’s correspondence, it might be this: her best writing, certainly in her letters and in much of her fiction, is driven by anger.

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Capturing the zeitgeist is something of an obsession for Dave Eggers. His work includes a recession-era treatise on the everyman’s dwindling power in American life, the near-biography of a Hurricane Katrina survivor (labelled nonfiction), the near-biography of a Sudanese child soldier (labelled fiction), and a film that wistfully captured the horrors of fracking. If you’ve read it about it in The New York Times Sunday Review, chances are Dave Eggers has considered it as source material.

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The new novel Americanah has elicited a number of strong reactions, ranging from exasperation to awe. The author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian woman, appears to be no less divisive, at least based on the discussion about her book on Twitter and elsewhere. (I haven't read it.)

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A bittersweet tale of marital communion and cleavage aboard a steamship.

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The Origins of Paul Scott's Vast Masterpiece

The epic of colonial India

How did a middling middle-aged novelist grow to write the English epic of colonial India? 

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On Screen, 'Gatsby' is Beautiful—and Damned Boring

Five films later, Hollywood still doesn't get Fitzgerald's novel

The book was about class anxieties, not classy parties. The movie, not so much.

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The god that fails: a novelist’s uneasy relationship with fiction.

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How to Write About Sex

The awkward art of the smitten word

The only thing more common than bad sex? Bad writing about sex. A novelist describes the dangers of the smitten word.

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