Daniel Mendelsohn

  1. The Cool WarGary Shteyngart’s hilarious new novel explores what happens when the chaos of post–Berlin Wall Eastern Europe and Russia collides with the […]
  2. The 1915 9/11An authoritative new book about the sinking of the Lusitania, which brought America into the First World War, has powerful, tragic modern […]
  3. Road to NowhereIn Adam Johnson’s stories, you’ll find a warm heart beating beneath the boredom of suburbia; Rick Moody’s memoir of his New England ancestors – […]
  4. Boy of WondersJonathan Safran Foer, the 25-year-old prodigy, spins a tale out of shtetl life using every literary trick. The resulting tour de force is a dens […]
  5. B&W – Read All OverThe obvious theme in Andrea Lee’s collection of stories is America’s problems with race, but driving these tales – many about mismatched couple […]
  6. Karma ChameleonIn Hari Kunzru’s much-ballyhooed debut, a subcontinental changeling allows the writer to explore the prison of identity; Sarah Waters slyly rewo […]
  7. UnforgivenIan McEwan unleashes a masterpiece of moral inquiry – a six-decade-spanning saga of false accusations, class conflict, and the intimate illusio […]
  8. Love (Dis)ConnectionJohn Burnham Schwartz’s new novel has plenty of psychological insight, but the central love story leaves a lot to be desired; Chinese writer Da […]
  9. Nanny CamPark Avenue mommies like to keep an eye on their children’s keepers. But a new novel shows that the nannies are just as likely to be the ones ta […]
  10. Cheat SheetA Multitude of Sins, Richard Ford’s new collection of stories, goes light on Envy, Sloth, Greed, and Pride. But the yuppie sin of choice […]
  11. Oral ArgumentsSet during a single sex act, Susan Minot’s Rapture tries to show us what lovers are actually thinking. But Kelly Link’s collection of sto […]
  12. Touching TonesBruce Wagner is the most compelling Hollywood satirist this side of Nathanael West. But I’ll Let You Go is a sweeter take; call this one […]
  13. Favorite SonsEdmund Morris raised eyebrows with his sometimes fictional life of Reagan – but his Roosevelt shows what he can do with the right material; Jac […]
  14. The New York Awards: FictionPaula Fox
  15. Upon This RockKanan Makiya explores the holy spot claimed by three great – but contentious – religions. Can this source of epic friction yet become common ground?
  16. Get StuffedPatricia Volk’s memoir of her family’s restaurant is packed with tender morsels, a celebration of the vibrant quirks of our city.
  17. The Museum MacherRonald Lauder is leading a campaign to revive Jewish life in Eastern Europe, so why are we shocked to find out he’s been collecting German and A […]
  18. Wise GalsSue Miller cooks up a saga of strong women unearthing the compromises their grandmothers made and the warm wisdom to be learned from domestic life.
  19. WaterworldLurking beneath this formulaic sea thriller is a thoughtful novel about narrative, genre, and literature.
  20. Foreign CorrespondentsTwo German writers address the seamless nature of guilt, memory, and commemoration – concerns that suddenly don’t seem remote anymore.
  21. Candle PowerThe creative spirits of obscure Paula Fox and famous Edna St. Vincent Millay both burned bright. But for illumination, you’ll get more from the […]
  22. This American LifeTwo novels offer a take on contemporary culture. Salman Rushdie tries to get by with a satire, while Jonathan Franzen’s family drama scores al […]
  23. Sophomore Shlump?After her unlikely but enchanting love story, The Giant’s House, Elizabeth McCracken’s new novel – though a pleasure to read – is missi […]
  24. They’re HistoryHistorical fiction varies from campy romance to character studies with imaginative insights more exact than fact. Three new novels test the genr […]
  25. The King’s RansomElvis Presley’s story has often been used by left-wing cultural critics to make points about race in America. Now Bill Buckley hijacks his legac […]
  26. Good to GoNick Hornby’s new satire suggests that the bad in ourselves might do us some good; Heather McGowan’s arty debut novel doesn’t prove that it’s go […]
  27. 20th Century LimitedBruno Maddox’s comic novel about a woman’s life in the twentieth century makes a serious point about our culture; Cranberry Queen – abou […]
  28. Ransom NotesIn Ann Patchett’s new novel, South American terrorists take hostages, including a famous opera singer – and everyone learns why the caged bird […]
  29. Fuzzy LogicTwo promising writers debut collections; one is maddeningly elusive but the other stumbles through a diffuse plot to enlightenment.
  30. Generation VetsWhile the old soldiers fade away, World War II has become our new cultural theme park. But don’t let Greatest Generation-itis put you off this […]
  31. Canin FodderEthan Canin crafts yet another tale of affluent Jews. The problem, however, isn’t his clockwork prose or the familiar plots but the practiced pe […]
  32. Pen PalatesThe current doyenne of breathless food journalism, Ruth Reichl, weighs in on sex and taste; Susan Loomis tests whether we can choke down another […]
  33. Holy ShtickA search for the historical Bible yields little; but the making of the King James Version is one of the greatest stories ever told.
  34. Smoked SignalsLouise Erdrich’s long-running tale of Native American life on the North Dakota plains builds to a climax in her latest novel – but the payoff n […]
  35. Horse PlayLaura Hillenbrand’s dramatically plotted biography of the Depression-era racing hero proves t […]
  36. Emerald BileHaving exploded the sentimentalism about Ireland in her last book, Nuala O’Faolain writes a novel that’s both gripping mystery and soapbox diatribe.
  37. I Want My Gay TVPrime time is full of dykes and queens, but that doesn’t mean we’re really seeing gay life. The jokes may be edgy, but it’s still television.
  38. Bawl in the FamilyTwo moving books – one a bleak novel, the other a tart memoir – play with past and present to reveal the very different worlds of adults and c […]
  39. Imitation of LifeA. S. Byatt brings us the story of a biographer writing a biography of another biographer – if you can follow that, you’ll like this novel.
  40. Battlefield BarbieA headstrong homecoming queen falls in love with her camera, dangerous travel – and difficult men; the Renaissance made vivid.
  41. Carre OnJohn le Carre finally returns to his true subject: the amorality of middle management. But without the Cold War, his one-dimensional villains ha […]
  42. Stairway to HeavenOn the crowded landing of a Bombay apartment house, a beggar embarks on his final journey. Yes, it’s another lush, ambitious first novel – but […]
  43. Vogue’s GalleryBrooke de Ocampo shows off her cast of Condé Nast-worthy friends but their apartments upstage them; Gloria Deák shows her what cla […]
  44. Proud Mary?Oscar Wilde’s undoing, according to a new biography, was his hopeless preference for ostentatious wit over meaningful art. So why is he a gay martyr?
  45. Carr CrashThe beguiling imagination he exhibits in his absorbing historical novels fails Caleb Carr when he careers into the future.
  46. Telltale HeartsA densely descriptive historical novel about two African princes caught in the web of Dutch imperialism invests familiar territory with newfound […]
  47. Of Ice and MenEven if you’ve had your fill of man-against-nature disaster epics, it’s worth making room for this newly rediscovered Russian saga of Arctic […]
  48. Critic CorneredWhat’s the wellspring of a reviewer’s style? For notably acerbic and unflinching Frank Rich of the Times, it was a childhood of conflict […]
  49. By Midas TouchedJackie O. and Maria Callas both fell under the spell of Aristotle Onassis, but if you think that’s all they had in common, think again.
  50. Eve’s LemonNomi Eve’s first novel is billed as a multigenerational historical allegory of Israel. Yet its real subject is simply sex, and the writing is ju […]
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