A. S. Byatt’s most recent book is Ragnarok: The End of the Gods. Her novel Possession won the Booker Prize in 1990. (October 2013)

IN THE REVIEW

A Magus of the North

Sjón in Lyon, France, May 2011

The Blue Fox

by Sjón, translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb

From the Mouth of the Whale

by Sjón, translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb
Every now and then a writer changes the whole map of literature inside my head. The most recent has been the Icelander Sjón, whose work is unlike anything I had read, and very exciting. I think of Icelanders as erudite, singular, tough, and uncompromising. Sjón is all these things, but he is also quicksilver, playful, and surreal.

Justice for Willa Cather

Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism

by Joan Acocella
The United States has produced many great women poets, beginning with Emily Dickinson, whose extraordinary example may be responsible for their inventiveness and freedom. It has not produced great women novelists in the same way. The only two I am sure about are Willa Cather and Toni Morrison. Edith Wharton …