Contents


The Unbearable

Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted by Andrew Wilson

American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath by Carl Rollyson

Recovering Submerged Worlds

The Throne of Adulis: Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam by G.W. Bowersock

Empires in Collision in Late Antiquity by G.W. Bowersock

The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran: Rural Revolt and Local Zoroastrianism by Patricia Crone

After May,’ What?

Something in the Air a film by Olivier Assayas

Une adolescence dans l’après-Mai: Lettre à Alice Debord by Olivier Assayas

Contributors

Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) was a German political theorist who, over the course of many books, explored themes such as violence, revolution, and evil. Her major works include The Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, and the controversial Eichmann in Jerusalem, in which she coined the phrase “the banality of evil.”

Elaine Blair is a regular contributor to The New York Review. (April 2014)

Paula Bohince’s most recent collection of poetry is The Children. (July 2013)

T.H. Breen is William Smith Mason Professor of American History at Northwestern. His most recent book is American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People.
 (July 2013)

Alfred Brendel is a pianist and author of several books of essays and poetry. His new book, A Pianist’s A–Z: A Piano Lover’s Reader, in which the text in this issue will appear, will be published in September.
 (July 2013)

David Bromwich is Sterling Professor of English at Yale. His two new books, The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke: From the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence and Moral Imagination, a collection of his essays, were published earlier this year. (August 2014)

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)

Terry Castle is the Walter A. Haas Professor in the ­Humanities at Stanford. Her artworks can be seen on her blog, Fevered Brain Productions. Her most recent book is The Professor and Other Writings.

Michael Chabon is the author of several books, including The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son and most recently, Telegraph Avenue.

Dan Chiasson’s fourth collection of poetry is Bicentennial.
 (August 2014)

David Cole is the Honorable George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center. He is the 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).

Steve Coll is Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power.
 (July 2014)

Joshua Hammer is a former Newsweek bureau chief and correspondent-at-large in Africa and the Middle East. His new book, Taking Timbuktu, will be published next year. His report in this issue was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
 (May 2014)

Walter Kaiser is the author of Praisers of Folly: Erasmus, Rabelais, Shakespeare. 
(February 2014)

Hermione Lee is President of Wolfson College, Oxford, and the author of biographies of Virginia Woolf and Edith Wharton. Her biography of Penelope Fitzgerald will be published later in 2014.
 (May 2014)

Colin McGinn is a philosopher whose books include The ­Character of Mind, The Problem of Consciousness, Consciousness and Its Objects, and The Meaning of Disgust.

 (April 2014)

Geoffrey O’Brien is Editor in Chief of the Library of America. His most recent book is Stolen Glimpses, Captive ­Shadows: Writing on Film, 2002–2012.


George Orwell (1903–1950) was the author of Animal Farm and 1984, among many other works of fiction and journalism. dwight macdonald was an editor of Partisan Review 
and the founder, during World War II, of the magazine Politics, which he edited at the time of his correspondence with Orwell. Peter Davison edited the twenty volumes of Orwell’s Complete Works, the Facsimile Edition of the Manuscript of 1984, and The Lost Orwell.

Luc Sante is the author of Low Life, Evidence, The Factory of Facts, Kill All Your Darlings, and Folk Photography. He has translated Félix Fénéon’s Novels in Three Lines and written the introduction to George Simenon’s The Man Who Watched Trains Go By (both available as NYRB Classics). He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard College.

Sanford Schwartz’s reviews have been collected in The Art Presence and Artists and Writers. (August 2014)

Frederick Seidel’s most recent book of poems is Nice Weather. (June 2014)

Adam Thirlwell is the author of two novels, Politics and The Escape; a novella, Kapow!; an essay-book, The Delighted States, winner of a Somerset Maugham Award; and a compendium of translations edited for McSweeney’s. He has twice been selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. His new novel, Lurid & Cute, will be published in 2015.

Martin Wolf is Chief Economics Commentator of the Financial Times. His article in this issue is an expanded version of a talk given at a symposium in Oxford sponsored by The New York Review and St. Antony’s College, and then posted on the Financial Times website. (July 2013)