Articles by Emily St. John Mandel

July 11, 2013

Motherless Tacoma: On Eric Barnes’s Something Pretty, Something Beautiful 0

Cars are freedom, stories are everything, and home is thick with ghosts.

June 28, 2013

The Bulldozing Powers of Cheap 3

Story of My People is an angry, eloquent, and beautifully written book, a hybrid of memoir and social commentary that took Italy’s prestigious Strega prize in 2011. This is a story about a man who loved his company and had to sell it, but this story is a microcosm for the decline of the Italian textiles industry and, more broadly, for the decline of manufacturing in the first world as industry has turned to cheaper labor markets elsewhere.

May 14, 2013

War is Just Business: John le Carré’s A Delicate Truth 4

There are moments when the machinery of plot grinds a little too obviously, but Le Carré remains formidable. Here, as elsewhere in his body of work, Le Carré proves himself a master of character development.

May 13, 2013

Just How Far Will She Go? Nicole Wolverton’s The Trajectory of Dreams 5

In The Trajectory of Dreams, Wolverton has created one of the most haunting unreliable narrators I’ve ever come across. She is both deeply sympathetic and extremely dangerous.

April 2, 2013

Staff Pick: Terese Svoboda’s Tin God 0

There’s a feeling, reading this book, of encountering something that hasn’t been done before. It seems to me that Terese Svoboda is a true original.

March 29, 2013

I Await The Devil’s Friend Request: On Social Media and Mary MacLane 15

What participation in social media comes down to, I think, is that either you have an instinct for broadcasting your life, or you don’t. Mary MacLane would have been a natural.

March 19, 2013

Lost in the Land of Self-Help: Mohsin Hamid’s How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia 0

Hamid’s flawed but beautifully written new novel follows the trajectory of a self-made man in an unnamed country.

February 22, 2013

Drinking at the End of the World: Lars Iyer’s Exodus 5

Enduring the everyday is relatively straightforward — just keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other — but how to transcend the everyday, in this world neither you nor I have made?

January 16, 2013

Shadows and Electricity: Juliann Garey’s Too Bright To Hear Too Loud To See 0

Greyson Todd is a man on a wire. He has excelled as a studio executive in Hollywood, and has everything that one’s supposed to want: a kind and supportive spouse, a lovely child. Money, beautiful house, glamourous career. But he’s been hiding a bipolar disorder for two decades, and it’s getting harder and harder to breathe.

December 9, 2012

A Year in Reading: Emily St. John Mandel 2

It’s a mesmerizing, precisely-written, sad, and very violent tale, with unexpected flashes of humor.