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Are the Kids All Right?

If Jonathan Franzen’s earlier books were steeped in ironic social observation, Crossroads is an experiment in sincerity.

Crossroads

by Jonathan Franzen


The More Fraught the Better

Throughout The Rake’s Progress, the steady friction between Stravinsky’s music and Auden’s poetry creates a musico-poetic compound that brims with energy and life.

The Storyteller

W.G. Sebald’s books suggest that we are powerless to remember adequately and powerless to forget.

Speak, Silence: In Search of W.G. Sebald

by Carole Angier


‘Who Designs Your Race?’

At a time when Latino identity is in flux, El Museo del Barrio’s triennial embraces its fragmented nature.

Estamos Bien: La Trienal 20/21

an exhibition at El Museo del Barrio, New York City, March 13–September 26, 2021


The CCP’s Culture of Fear

In China under Xi Jinping, idealism is passé and conformity a shell for the ruthless pursuit of hierarchical power and private interests.

Hollywood’s Master Builder

The African-American architect Paul R. Williams channeled the glamorous but breezy spirit of the Golden Age of Hollywood in designs that allowed his clients and the public to imagine themselves in fantasies akin to those spun out by the great movie studios.

Paul R. Williams: Classic Hollywood Style

by Karen E. Hudson, with photography by Benny Chan and a foreword by Michael S. Smith

Paul R. Williams

by Marc Appleton, Stephen Gee, and Bret Parsons

Regarding Paul R. Williams: A Photographer’s View

by Janna Ireland

Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story

a documentary film directed by Royal Kennedy Rodgers and Kathy McCampbell Vance


The Human Costs of AI

Artificial intelligence does not come to us as a deus ex machina but, rather, through a number of dehumanizing extractive practices, of which most of us are unaware.

Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence

by Kate Crawford

We, the Robots?: Regulating Artificial Intelligence and the Limits of the Law

by Simon Chesterman

Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation

by Kevin Roose

The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Why Computers Can’t Think the Way We Do

by Erik J. Larson


A Mind in Pain

For Robert Burton, describing melancholy was a way of describing the world. Two recent books on depression suggest that today, virtually all we know about the subject is still open to debate.

The Anatomy of Melancholy

by Robert Burton, edited by Angus Gowland

The Empire of Depression: A New History

by Jonathan Sadowsky

How to Be Depressed

by George Scialabba


Napoleon’s Greatest Trophy

How a Venetian masterpiece ended up in the Louvre.

Plunder: Napoleon’s Theft of Veronese’s Feast

by Cynthia Saltzman


What Does the Microbiome Do?

In Gut Feelings, Alessio Fasano and Susie Flaherty remind us that despite exaggerated claims from marketers, few applications of microbiome manipulation have been proven effective by clinical studies.

Gut Feelings: The Microbiome and Our Health

by Alessio Fasano and Susie Flaherty


In the Fire

The Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi fearlessly told unpleasant truths about discrimination against women in Arab countries.

A Daughter of Isis: The Early Life of Nawal El Saadawi, In Her Own Words

translated from the Arabic by Sherif Hetata

Walking Through Fire: The Later Years of Nawal El Saadawi, In Her Own Words

translated from the Arabic by Sherif Hetata

The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World

translated from the Arabic by Sherif Hetata and with a foreword by Ronak Husni

Woman at Point Zero

translated from the Arabic by Sherif Hetata and with a foreword by Miriam Cooke

Memoirs from the Women’s Prison

translated from the Arabic by Marilyn Booth

The Fall of the Imam

translated from the Arabic by Sherif Hetata

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A Poet’s-Eye View

Yi Sang, Korean literature’s perpetual enfant terrible, was not only a cutting-edge writer but a working architect, and his oeuvre teems with dark rooms, mirror worlds, and other uncanny spaces.

Yi Sang: Selected Works

edited by Don Mee Choi and translated from the Korean by Jack Jung, Don Mee Choi, and Joyelle McSweeney, and from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu


Nature’s Evolving Tastes

In a new collection of essays on Darwin’s Descent of Man, a number of scientists claim that human and animal cultures emerge from the “purposeless process” of natural selection. Darwin himself said the opposite.

A Most Interesting Problem: What Darwin’s Descent of Man Got Right and Wrong About Human Evolution

edited by Jeremy DeSilva

The Origins of the World: The Invention of Nature in the 19th Century

an exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, May 19–July 18, 2021

The Natural History of Edward Lear: New Edition

by Robert McCracken Peck, with a foreword by David Attenborough


‘All One’s Capacities’

Shirley Hazzard was a subversive traditionalist, a writer who perfected a form of realism before pushing against its limits in an effort to take the novel somewhere new.

Collected Stories

by Shirley Hazzard, edited by Brigitta Olubas and with a foreword by Zoë Heller

The Transit of Venus

by Shirley Hazzard, with an introduction by Lauren Groff


Wits’ End

Pat Rogers’s new book is salutary because it gives us a modern sense of Alexander Pope, a figure usually portrayed as ultra-traditional.

The Poet and the Publisher: The Case of Alexander Pope, Esq., of Twickenham Versus Edmund Curll, Bookseller in Grub Street

by Pat Rogers


Anything Can Happen

Notions of authorship, creator, and creatures, as well as of love, folly, and imagination, dominate Salman Rushdie’s and Ariel Dorfman’s retellings of Don Quixote.

Cautivos

by Ariel Dorfman

Quichotte

by Salman Rushdie


‘The Lucky Ones’

Several groundbreaking new books chronicle the fate of the quarter-million or so Polish Jews who evaded Hitler only to wind up in the hands of Stalin.

In the East: How My Father and a Quarter Million Polish Jews Survived the Holocaust

by Mikhal Dekel

Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union

by Eliyana R. Adler

Journey into the Land of the Zeks and Back: A Memoir of the Gulag

by Julius Margolin, translated from the Russian by Stefani Hoffman, with a foreword by Timothy Snyder and an introduction by Katherine R. Jolluck

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