Search View Archive


Margaret Atwood’s Burning Questions

Writers can learn a lot from reading Atwood: not just the shape of her sentences, the way she moves seamlessly between topics, but also in those moments when she is very specific about process.

In Conversation

Mark Haber with Andrew Ervin

The questions of what constitutes art and who gets to decide have gnawed at me for years. Mark Haber’s second novel, Saint Sebastian’s Abyss, addresses these same concerns in ways I wish I had thought to do myself.

In Conversation

Steven Van Zandt with Samuele F.S. Pardini

Steven Van Zandt's memoir is not a tale of two separate lives. Rather, it is the story of how one can be surprised and rewarded if one manages to stay committed to finding a larger purpose in life than momentary fulfillment.

Are the Arts Essential?

Straight off, Alberta Arthurs declares that this book was slow in its growth, and we can certainly see why—from the magnificent display of thought in many parts, from many places and many celebrated persons—it could scarcely have been rushed into print.

Christopher Prendergast’s Living and Dying with Marcel Proust

I well remember—and thinking memory, how not, in speaking of or reading or writing about Proust—that we were each allowed to choose the place to read from, and how important that choice seemed. And was.

Wolfgang Hilbig’s The Interim

The strange curse of privilege is the proper subject of The Interim.

Colette Brooks’sTrapped in the Present Tense: Meditations on American Memory

Have you heard of Mondaugen’s Law? Named for an engineer in Gravity’s Rainbow who studies atmospheric radio signals, it has the economy of an epigram. Here it is in full: “Personal density is directly proportional to temporal bandwidth.” Temporal bandwidth, by Mondaugen’s lights, is one’s sense of the present moment.

In Conversation

Mike DeCapite with Drew Hubner

I met novelist Mike DeCapite in 2009, at a performance of East of Bowery, a multimedia show I was doing in collaboration with a mutual friend, photographer Ted Barron. In 2016, DeCapite and Barron invited me to be part of the Sparkle Street Social & Athletic Club, a performance series they were running at the Howl! Happening gallery, on East First Street.

Olga Ravn’s Employees

Olga Ravn’s The Employees unpacks like a miraculous gift, alive with changes. Peeling off the first wrap, things look eerie, then at the next mundane, and while the crackle might sound like laughter, it also shivers with terror or poignancy.

The Most Dangerous Branch?

In his pre-retirement plaintive wail for institutional relevance, The Authority of the Court and the Perils of Politics, Justice Stephen Breyer laments that education is failing in its task to engender in the general populace an understanding, love, and respect for the rule of law and the pronouncements of the law’s final arbiters, the Supreme Court.

Emme Lund’s The Boy with a Bird in His Chest

When I sat down to read Emme Lund’s debut novel, The Boy with a Bird in His Chest, I was expecting to encounter a playfully didactic allegory; however, while the story is certainly playful and arguably didactic, I quickly realized that it was also much more: invitingly poetic, defiantly queer, and lyrical to boot. 


The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2022

All Issues