Ruth Margalit’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. She lives in Tel Aviv. (February 2020)

Follow Ruth Margalit on Twitter: @ruthmargalit.


The Girl Behind Lolita

The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World

by Sarah Weinman

Rust & Stardust

by T. Greenwood
“Would you be interested in publishing a timebomb that I have just finished putting together?” Vladimir Nabokov asked James Laughlin, the publisher of New Directions, in February 1954. He had finally completed Lolita, after five years of fitful writing amid other pesky obligations. (“I am sick of teaching, I am …

A Mug’s Game

Lionel Shriver, Paris, March 2017

Property: Stories Between Two Novellas

by Lionel Shriver
In Lionel Shriver’s world, there are “Mugs” and there are “Mooches.” Mooches live off the generosity of Mugs, who work, pay taxes, build up insurance deductibles, and generally follow the rules. In our warped society, Shriver’s books argue time and again, Mugs are suckers and Mooches are winners. It’s a …

Flirting with Time

Lisa Halliday


by Lisa Halliday
Early in Asymmetry, Lisa Halliday’s astounding first novel, Alice, a young assistant editor at a large publishing house, comes across a stray paper in the apartment of the much older writer she is sleeping with. On it are a few typed lines, including this: “An artist, I think, is nothing …

The Voice of Authority

Nicole Krauss, Tel Aviv, 2016

Forest Dark

by Nicole Krauss
In an essay published earlier this year in The New York Times, the novelist Nicole Krauss questioned the notion of the author as a figure of authority, “someone who invents or causes something.” It is a notion, she writes, that “returns me to a question that bothered me to no …

So When Are You Getting Married?

Menashe Lustig in Joshua Z. Weinstein’s film Menashe


a film directed by Joshua Z. Weinstein


a television series created by Laizy Shapiro and Havvah Deevon
How insular a community is may be measured by its share of members who wish to appear on camera. When a casting call went out to New York’s ultra-Orthodox community, which numbers in the hundreds of thousands, to appear in Menashe, a feature film set in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, only sixty people showed up.