A Widow’s Story: A Memoir by Joyce Carol Oates
All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age by Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly
The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu
The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom by Evgeny Morozov
No Regrets: The Life of Edith Piaf by Carolyn Burke
Townie: A Memoir by Andre Dubus III
Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester
Witches on the Road Tonight by Sheri Holman
L’Antiquité rêvée: innovations et résistances au XVIIIe siècle an exhibition at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, December 2, 2010–February 14, 2011, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, March 20–May 30, 2011.
The Empty Family by Colm Tóibín
Smart Solutions to Climate Change: Comparing Costs and Benefits edited by Bjørn Lomborg
Cool It a film directed by Ondi Timoner
Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard
To a Mountain in Tibet by Colin Thubron
The Last Pagans of Rome by Alan Cameron
Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion by Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel
Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam by Fred M. Donner
Faith and Power: Religion and Politics in the Middle East by Bernard Lewis
Peter Brown is Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton. His most recent book is Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350–550 AD. (December 2013)
Ian Buruma is the author of many books, including The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan (1995), The Missionary and the Libertine: Love and War in East and West (1996), Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance (2006), and Year Zero: A History of 1945 (2013). He is the Paul W. Williams Professor of Human Rights and Journalism at Bard and a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and The New York Times, among other publications.
David Cole is the Honorable George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center. He is the award-winning author of several books, including The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable (2009), Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror (with Jules Lobel, 2007) and Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism (2003) He has been awarded an Open Society Foundation Fellowship for 2012–2013 to write his next book, on the role of civil society in enforcing constitutional rights.
Richard Dorment is the art critic of the Daily Telegraph. Among the exhibitions he has organized is “James McNeill Whistler,” seen at the Tate Gallery, London, the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (June 2013)
Haleh Esfandiari is the Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and the author of My Prison, My Home: One Woman’s Story of Captivity in Iran. She was held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison in Iran for 105 days in 2007. (April 2011)
Pico Iyer is a Distinguished Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. He is the author of several books, including Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, and The Global Soul. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and other publications and his most recent book is The Man Within My Head.
Kabir (c. 1440–1518), the North Indian devotional or bhakti poet, was born in Benares (now Varanasi) and lived in the fifteenth century. Next to nothing is known of his life, though many legends surround him. He is said to have been a weaver, and in his resolutely undogmatic and often riddling work he debunks both Hinduism and Islam. The songs of this extraordinary poet, philosopher, and satirist, who believed in a personal god, have been sung and recited by millions throughout North India for half a millennium.
Janet Malcolm was born in Prague. She was educated at the High School of Music and Art, in New York, and at the University of Michigan. Along with In the Freud Archives, her books include Diana and Nikon: Essays on Photography, Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession, The Journalist and the Murderer, The Purloined Clinic: Selected Writings, The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, The Crime of Sheila McGough, and Reading Chekhov: A Critical Journey. She wrote about the trial of Mazoltuv Borukhova, the mother of Michelle, in her book Iphigenia in Forest Hills, just out in paperback. Her collection Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers will be published in the spring of 2013.She lives in New York.
Bill McKibben is Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College, and the author of The End of Nature, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet and of the forthcoming Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist.. He is also the founder of 350.org, the global climate campaign that has been actively involved in the fight against natural gas fracking.
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra is the author of four books of poetry, the editor of The Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets and Collected Poems in English by Arun Kolatkar, and the translator of The Absent Traveller: Prakrit Love Poetry. A volume of his essays, Partial Recall: Essays on Literature and Literary History will be published in 2011. He is a professor of English at the University of Allahabad and lives in Allahabad and Dehra Dun.
Tim Parks, a novelist, essayist, and translator, is Associate Professor of Literature and Translation at IULM University in Milan. He has recently published the novel Sex Is Forbidden and the travel book Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo.
Malise Ruthven is the author of Islam: A Very Short Introduction, Islam in the World: The Divine Supermarket (a study of Christian fundamentalism), A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America, A Satanic Affair: Salman Rushdie and the Wrath of Islam, and several other books. His latest book is Encounters with Islam: On Religion, Politics and Modernity.
Cathleen Schine is the author of several novels, including Rameau’s Niece, The Love Letter, She is Me, The New Yorkers, and The Three Weissmanns of Westport. Her latest novel, Fin & Lady, was published in July 2013. She is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books.
Brian Urquhart is a former Undersecretary-General of the United Nations. His books include Hammarskjöld, A Life in Peace and War, and Ralph Bunche: An American Life. His article in this issue draws on his essay in Tyringham Topics. (February 2013)