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Hilary Reid

HILARY REID writes fiction, reviews, and criticism. Reid works for the publishing imprint of the New York Review of Books and lives in Brooklyn.

GILLIAN LAUB Southern Rites

It’s prom night in Mount Vernon, Georgia. The prom prince and princess are mid-slow dance. He wears a sherbet-colored polyester vest, and she wears a tiara, with long, bleached blonde banana curls cascading down her back.

The (Practical) Pursuit of Happiness

In a scene from Woody Allen’s 1977 film Annie Hall, the main character, Alvy Singer, having recently broken up with his erstwhile girlfriend, Annie, encounters a tall, beautiful couple on a Manhattan street. He stops them and says, “You look like a very happy couple.

The Good Fight

There are few façades in New York City as iconic as the main branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL) on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street. 104 years old this year, what is now known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building operates in much the same way as it has since 1911—admission is free and any cardholder can access the research collection housed in the stacks under the Rose Reading Room.

Life in Translation

In Other Words marks a fundamental shift in Jhumpa Lahiri’s career. The memoir is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s first nonfiction book—and her first published work since her decision to read and write exclusively in Italian.

Sweet Nothings

I have very few memories before the age of thirteen, but one is of my first celebrity crush: Bill Clinton. I remember sitting on the couch in our living room in New Hampshire, watching Clinton on TV and thinking, He is speaking to me.

Grey Matters

The idea of the “life story” is central to The Good Story: Exchanges on Truth, Fiction and Psychotherapy, a conversation between the South African writer J. M. Coetzee and Arabella Kurtz, a clinical psychologist training in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.

From the Ground Up

“What is lively is what is good … If it is alive, it is working,” wrote Commentary critic Herb Gans in notes for a review of writer, activist, and urban theorist Jane Jacobs’s first book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961).


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2023

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