Fiction

RECENT REVIEWS

YAC Hit List: Noir

YAC Hit List: Noir

INSIDE THE INSTITUTION WALLS, under the thumb of corrupt authority figures, and beholden to arbitrary rules, the school day slowly passes, venetian blinds in every classroom casting the walls in strip...

Going Dutch

Going Dutch

ONE OF THE PLEASURES of fiction is to be a tourist — or, if one is very fortunate, to have a deeper, more intimate visit to a far-off place. The reader who chooses a book set in 17th-century Holland...

Life Elsewhere

Life Elsewhere

“HOW DIFFICULT IS IT,” Andrew Lam asks in his hypnotic and hilarious short story collection Birds of Paradise Lost, “to let the past go?” Nearly 40 years after the fall of Saigon and the end o...

The Golden Years

The Golden Years

IN THE ELEVATOR PITCH version of Don Waters’s new novel, Sunland, a 30-something named Sid Dulaney has somehow found himself running an illegal Mexican prescription drug ring, supplying the resident...

Hans Fallada

Hans Fallada

NIEDERKIRCHNERSTRASSE IN BERLIN must be the eeriest street I have ever walked down. Its old and notorious name, Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, pulses through Hans Fallada’s rediscovered 1947 novel Every Ma...

The Idea of Detroit

The Idea of Detroit

IN 1968, IN DETROIT, the Tigers won the World Series Bill Morris’s new novel Motor City Burning, takes place during that year’s baseball season, when the sport was a rare uniting factor in the rac...

Corporate Noir, or This Job Is Killing Me

Corporate Noir, or This Job Is Killing Me

IN CONTEMPORARY NOIR, you are often your own worst enemy. This is stylishly illustrated in the 2012 movie Looper, in which time travel has been outlawed but is still used as a handy black-market tool ...

PODCAST #67: Edan Lepucki

PODCAST #67: Edan Lepucki

Colin Marshall talks with Edan Lepucki, staff writer at The Millions and founder of Writing Workshops Los Angeles. She is the author of California, a mid-21st century domestic relationship novel set...

Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks

PARTWAY THROUGH William T. Vollmann’s Last Stories and Other Stores, a character known simply as “the inspector” has his head gnawed off by rats. He doesn’t seem to mind. The story (if you’r...

Crossing the Border of Fiction

Crossing the Border of Fiction

IF YOU DON'T enjoy the company of Teju Cole’s perpetually adrift narrators, it’s unlikely you’ll enjoy Open City (2011) or this year’s book, Every Day Is for the Thief. (The author published ...

The Forgotten Charm of Iranian Storytelling

The Forgotten Charm of Iranian Storytelling

IRANIAN WRITERS, especially women, have produced some extraordinary books in the last three decades: Of those written in (or translated to) English, the memoirs of Azar Nafisi, Roya Hakakian, and Mar...

House Rules

House Rules

IT BEGINS in the desert, the way all good thrillers should, with a mysterious phone call: “There’s a problem and it can’t be solved. You need to disappear.” The man on the receiving end of the...