Articles by Thomas Beckwith

February 11, 2017

Short Form 0

“Aphorisms are linguistic memes. They were, in essence, an attempt by Greek philosophers to go viral 2,500 years before the internet existed.” On the form of the aphorism, and Sarah Manguso’s new book.

February 7, 2017

Tuesday New Release Day: Nguyen; McKay; Smith; Kitamura; Manguso; Omotoso; Lee; Darnielle 0

Out this week: The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen; Amiable with Big Teeth by Claude McKay; Autumn by Ali Smith; A Separation by Katie Kitamura; 300 Arguments by Sarah Manguso; The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso; Pachinko by Min Jin Lee; and Universal Harvester by John Darnielle. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book […]

February 5, 2017

Caught 0

“Were you happy? With Green it’s likelier you were in love, attuned to the littlest differences, rapt at eventless descriptions that should be boring but aren’t, in awe of the way a cut-rate bunch of flowers is described, interpreting each symbol as a sign, sickened when your interpretation failed.” On the novels of Henry Green.

February 5, 2017

“Be realistic! Demand the impossible!” 0

Want to go to Paris but don’t have the money? You can read these books instead. In the Times, a list of new books that bring you to the City of Light.

February 4, 2017

A Hunger Artist 0

On August 1st, 1914, Germany declared war on Russia. Also, Franz Kafka went swimming. Moreover, the Metamorphosis author mentioned both events in his diary, writing simply and strangely that “Germany has declared war on Russia — went swimming in the afternoon.” Was this odd phrasing intentional or a sign of the author’s self-absorption? In an article for Open Letters Monthly, Robert Minto reads all […]

February 4, 2017

We’re Gonna Make It 0

Recommended Reading: A chapter of Janice Shapiro’s new graphic memoir Crushable, on the subject of the late Mary Tyler Moore.

January 31, 2017

Tuesday New Release Day: Auster; Whitaker; Lobo; Appelfeld; Reve 0

New this week: 4321 by Paul Auster; The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker; Mr. Iyer Goes to War by Ryan Lobo; The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping by Aharon Appelfeld; and The Evenings by Gerard Reve. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book preview.

January 29, 2017

Culture Shock 0

“When it comes to living in a democracy, Nato Thompson argues, nothing affects us more directly and more powerfully than culture. Culture suffuses the world we live in, from TV to music to advertising to sports. And all these things, Thompson writes in his new book, Culture as Weapon, ‘influence our emotions, our actions, and […]

January 29, 2017

Thirteen 0

Just in case you wanted or needed a long explanation, here is Michiko Kakutani on the value of 1984. 

January 28, 2017

Sticks and Stones 0

As a child, Xiaolu Guo hunted birds and toads to survive. Now, as a writer in Britain, she’s written a memoir about her difficult childhood, which you can read more about in this review in The New Statesman. Sample quote: “Perhaps it is no coincidence that the reason that Guo gives for deciding to write in English is to be […]