Reading Pandemics

Pandemics and Trumpian Echoes in Miller’s 'Blackfish City'

When we can't turn to the federal government for the truth, sometimes we need to turn to fiction. Sam J. Miller's Blackfish City maps a pandemic in a post-United States future.


'Unthinkable' Gives Our Brains a Second Thought

Unthinkable is an eminently readable book that includes a wealth of information about how the brain functions.


​Michael Chabon and Pops Culture

If there is one thing even harder than parenting, it's writing about parenting well.


Alice Bolin's 'Dead Girls' Fails to Closely Exam the Bodies

Throughout Dead Girls, Bolin is too eager to jam pack chapters with popular cultural references rather than fully deconstructing the subjects.


'I Still Dream' Gives Us Hope for the Tech Apocalypse

In a world of Palantir, you'll wish for Organon.


Losing the Narrative of Your Life: On Alissa Quart's ​'Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America'

Alissa Quart's perspective-driven reporting on the struggles of middle-class working families addresses the results of America's utterly depraved neoliberal capitalist state.


On Porochista Khakpour's 'Sick', or, When Marginal Identifiers Are No Excuse

A reader will understand and sympathize with the illness and its ramifications presented here. But with the unreliable narrator -- not so much.


Julia Fine's 'What Should Be Wild' Is Much Too Wild

Fine's debut novel is occasionally impressive, but too often it strives for unnecessary complexity.


Are You 'Wasting Time on the Internet'? Is That Such a Bad Thing? (Excerpt)

"I'm reading these days -- ironically, on the web -- that we don't read anymore," writes Kenneth Goldsmith in this excerpt of Wasting Time on the Internet, courtesy of HarperCollins.

Kenneth Goldsmith

Cinderella May Have Eaten Peggy Orenstein's Daughter, But Who Ate Cinderella?

All the expertise in the world doesn’t prepare a parent to face the vagaries of American culture that lays itself pink, shiny, and bejewelled at the feet of a young girl.


American Woman by Susan Choi

No matter how far they drive or how deep they hide, the fugitives in Susan Choi's American Woman cannot escape their compromised morality, their Americanness.

Stephen M. Deusner
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