For intellectual historian Louis Menand, the Cold War gave rise to prospects and paradoxes in America, and Art was given status through essential criticism.
There is nothing artificial about Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara of ‘Klara and the Sun’. That’s the tragedy and the irony of being an Artificial Friend.
Living under the repressive East German regime taught its citizens to distrust their government and read through the lines of its proclamations to glean the reality of a situation, Jenny Erpenbeck explains in Not a Novel.
A character named Magda dies, and lives, in language only in Ottessa Moshfegh's Death in Her Hands. But then again, don't all literary characters?
Whether one chooses to read Square Haunting for the sketches of the five fascinating women, or to understand how misogyny and patriarchy constricted intellectual and public life in the period, Francesca Wade's book is a superb achievement.
The worn trope—Time Devours All Things (tempus edax rerum)—is true for human beings, says Shakespeare: if you're a mortal, death lurks at the heart of the very thing you most want. During a plague, or a pandemic, it's wanting that endangers us.
Prolific literary critic Terry Eagleton tries to explain how but doesn't tell why, we shouldn't read about vacuum cleaners in How to Read Literature.
Gwyneth Jones's masterly account of the life and times of Joanna Russ serves as a timely reminder of the strides made in visibility and diversity in science fiction literature —and the distance still left to traverse.