Between Abstraction and Representation

Artists today think they no longer have to choose between two opposed artistic traditions. But what is being lost in this eclecticism?

Hilary Mantel (1952–2022)

Hilary Mantel’s novels and short stories demonstrated that while the historical record can tell us what people did, only fiction can imagine what they felt and thought.

Khamenei’s Dilemma

As protests in Iran continue, the regime’s attempts to crack down on them may create an unstoppable spiral of state violence and popular fury.

A Vivisectional Style

A new biography of John Donne argues for the sensuality and strangeness of both his work and his life.

Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne

by Katherine Rundell

Originalism’s Charade

Two new books make a devastating case against claims that the Constitution should be interpreted on the basis of its purported “original meaning.”

Worse Than Nothing: The Dangerous Fallacy of Originalism

by Erwin Chemerinsky

Constructing Basic Liberties: A Defense of Substantive Due Process

by James E. Fleming

Pakistan Submerged

Climate change and a “monsoon on steroids” bring catastrophic flooding to Pakistan.

Models for Being

A meditative essay on friendship weaves through Hua Hsu’s memoir, which is also about youth, Asian identity, zines, time, education, California, mixtapes, and more.

Stay True

by Hua Hsu

Resurrecting the Poets of Tbilisi

A new museum tells the story of the Soviet taming of Georgia’s intelligentsia. The echoes today are growing louder.

Total Recall

Jennifer Egan and Vauhini Vara’s new novels both delineate worlds just slightly out of true with the one we know.

The Immortal King Rao

by Vauhini Vara

The Candy House

by Jennifer Egan

The Jewish Authenticity Trap

Dara Horn’s fierce, often insightful cri de coeur presents a strangely selective picture of Jewishness, cropping a rich, messy, diverse, and complex history to fit into a tightly focused frame.

People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present

by Dara Horn

Clay Genius

A master of the punishing mercy of the kiln, Josiah Wedgwood set his stamp on European decorative arts and changed ceramics forever with the clay and glazes he invented or perfected.

The Radical Potter: The Life and Times of Josiah Wedgwood

by Tristram Hunt

Holding a Gun

An exchange of letters between Reginald Dwayne Betts and Serhiy Zhadan, lyrical writers of the tough places they come from.

Accounting for the Human Cost

Applying a cost-benefit analysis to people’s problems may seem “bloodless,” but it can be a corrective to interest group lobbying, ideology, and bias.

The Tragic Science: How Economists Cause Harm (Even as They Aspire to Do Good)

by George F. DeMartino

Village People

Halldór Laxness, Iceland’s Nobel laureate, was an inexhaustibly prolific chronicler of impoverished village life, though he never got over the impracticality of literature.

Salka Valka

by Halldór Laxness, translated from the Icelandic by Philip Roughton

Independent People

by Halldór Laxness, translated from the Icelandic by J. A. Thompson, with an introduction by John Freeman

The Cruelties of Empire

Whether they were labeled internal revolts, police actions, or states of emergency, colonial wars were especially brutal.

Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire

by Caroline Elkins

In the Forest of No Joy: The Congo-Océan Railroad and the Tragedy of French Colonialism

by J.P. Daughton

Georgia’s Battle Over the Ballot

The New Georgia Project has been working for years on getting blacks to register and vote, but it must find ways to overcome the state’s long and complicated history of voter suppression.

Issue Details

Cover art
Shirana Shahbazi: Much Like Zero, 2011
(Shirana Shahbazi)

Series art
Rachel Domm: Rug Drawings (mini), 2022

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