Liza Batkin is on the editorial staff of The New York Review. (April 2018)


We Fucked It Up

Louise Erdrich

Future Home of the Living God

by Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich’s novels, many of them set on Native American reservations, take seriously Faulkner’s notion that the past is neither dead nor buried nor, even, past. In the words of Erdrich herself, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and the author of more than twenty books, “history …


Marching for Our Lives

Young people dressed in bright puffer jackets and pom pom hats were accompanied by older chaperones, some wearing buttons and stickers, and holding signs that conveyed simple messages of urgency: Protect kids, not guns, Books not bullets, and Arms for hugging, not for killing (in the uneven crayon scrawl of a seven-year-old named Henry).

Art That Won’t Stop Talking

Cate Blanchett in Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto, 2015

Julian Rosefeldt’s installation Manifesto features different characters, each one played by the virtuosic, versatile Cate Blanchett, reciting what Rosefeldt calls “text collages,” which are woven together from different artists’ manifestos under the heading of an artistic movement—Conceptual Art/Minimalism, for instance, or Situationism. The seams between the texts are hard to detect, and the seamlessness suggests something not only about the ways in which ideas and themes reverberate and cycle throughout history, but also about the artifice of historical periodization.