Memoirs from children of celebrities and politicians abound, but the offspring of our country’s leading intellectuals have been less effusive. That gap has started to close, however, thanks to Najla Said’s Looking for Palestine, a memoir from the daughter of the late Edward Said, the outspoken advocate for Palestine who single-handedly founded post-colonial studies. Said grew up with her Palestinian father and Lebanese mother on the Upper West ... Read More
Editor Henriette Mantel shares more than a lack of children with her fellow contributors to No Kidding—all have professional backgrounds in writing and performing, most of them in comedy. Yet despite these similarities, the 37 by-turns-funny-and-poignant essays showcase a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and voices. Some women had been fairly sure since they were children themselves that they didn’t want kids, some simply never thought of ... Read More
Although Marisha Pessi, author of the 2007 bestseller Special Topics in Calamity Physics, should be arrested for italics abuse, a crime against literature crazily splattered all over her second novel (and I am so not kidding), she’s spun such a gripping yarn that by the end, nearly 600 pages later, I had somehow forgiven the excessiveness. Night Film is a genre-bending page-turner melodramatically haunted by two absent characters, reclusive cult ... Read More
“The first time Andy met Louisa, she was covered in blood.” So begins The Explanation For Everything, the engrossing and sometimes frustrating third novel from Lauren Grodstein. The opening sentence is actually the beginning of a strangely adorable meet-cute in an emergency room, but by the end of the first chapter, Louisa is again covered in blood, killed in a drunk-driving accident, leaving Andy and their two young daughters behind. The rest ... Read More
  Samantha Shannon’s debut novel (the first of a seven-part series) has already been compared to both Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, and this comparison is spot on. The Bone Season begins in underground London in the year 2059. Hundreds of years earlier, the fabric that separated the human world from the spirit world had been torn. Because of that, clairvoyance—the ability to connect with ghosts—has become prevalent across the ... Read More
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