March is Women’s History Month, making it a good time to look back on the authors who have shaped us. For the New York Times, Min Jin Lee recounts the paradigm-shifting experience of reading bell hooks as a sophomore at Yale. “[It] was as if someone had opened the door, the windows, and raised the roof in my mind,” Lee writes. “I am neither white nor black, but through her theories, I was able to understand that my body contained historical multitudes and any analysis without such a measured consideration was limited and deeply flawed.”
“How earnest, ironic, condescending, moralistic and simply funny a Tolstoy should the translator inhabit? Perhaps the only way to render Tolstoy’s variable voice is to continue producing ever-varying translations.” Masha Gessen looks at the latest English translations of Anna Karenina and breaks down their nuances of word choice and accumulated meaning for The New York Times Book Review, and along the way she questions the novel’s most famous line: just how alike are happy families? How can we know?
When Belarusian investigative journalist Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize earlier this year, her horrifying and poetic book Voices From Chernobyl exposed a great many readers to the Chernobyl disaster. Now, this piece from The Atlantic takes a look at Chernobyl’s literary legacy over the past three decades.