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The Critics
October 4, 2021 Issue
Briefly Noted
“Bewilderment,” “Something New Under the Sun,” “Against White Feminism,” and “Burning Man.”
September 27, 2021
October 4, 2021 Issue
Anthony Doerr’s Optimism Engine
In “Cloud Cuckoo Land,” the world may be falling apart but everything and everyone must come together.
By James WoodSeptember 27, 2021
October 4, 2021 Issue
The Church of Jonathan Franzen
In “Crossroads,” bad decisions and bad faith weigh down the characters—and propel the novel to startling heights.
By Kathryn SchulzSeptember 27, 2021
October 4, 2021 Issue
We’re Shaped by Our Sexual Desires. Can We Shape Them?
What we want may be more socially conditioned than we realize.
By Alexandra SchwartzSeptember 27, 2021
October 4, 2021 Issue
The Unexpected Introspection of Lil Nas X
Fans may have thought that the artist’s début album, “Montero,” would be a bawdy romp. Instead, it takes a turn toward the morose and the self-searching.
By Carrie BattanSeptember 24, 2021
September 27, 2021 Issue
Joy Williams Does Not Write for Humanity
In a new novel, the author’s dark, surprising language mourns for the world we’ve demolished.
By Katy WaldmanSeptember 20, 2021
September 27, 2021 Issue
Briefly Noted
“Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth,” “Savage Tongues,” “Three Girls from Bronzeville,” and “Home, Land, Security.”
September 20, 2021
September 27, 2021 Issue
Percival Everett’s Deadly Serious Comedy
The novelist has regularly exploded our models of genre and identity. In “The Trees,” he’s raising the stakes, confronting America’s legacy of lynching in a mystery at once hilarious and horrifying.
By Julian LucasSeptember 20, 2021
September 27, 2021 Issue
“Reservation Dogs” Is a Near-Perfect Study of Dispossession
Chips are the least of what has been stolen in Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi’s heist comedy, shot in the Muscogee Nation.
By Doreen St. FélixSeptember 20, 2021
September 27, 2021 Issue
The Uncanny Valley of “I’m Your Man”
Maria Schrader’s film, starring Dan Stevens as a robot designed to be the perfect man, confirms comedy as the playground of philosophy: nothing is funnier or more stirring than the sight of somebody learning how to be.
By Anthony LaneSeptember 17, 2021
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