The Best-Selling Author Down the Hall

Featuring reviews of:

  • Yossarian Slept Here by Erica Heller
  • Dream Catcher by Margaret Salinger
  • Swimming in a Sea of Death by David Rieff
  • Sempre Susan by Sigrid Nunez
  • In My Father’s Footsteps by Sebastian Matthews

A Conversation with Sheila Heti

“The problem with modern artists is that they are always going neurotically back and forth between making art and then life, where they collect the experiences. I recognized that in myself and thought, What if I can make them one?”

This interview is not currently available online.

Camera Artist: The Portraiture of Cecil Beaton

Amid the discarded garments, feather boas, parasols and scarves littering the canopy bed, a young Cecil Beaton, just sent down from Cambridge, watched his mother at her dressing table as she pinned a lily to the bodice of her dress. He reveled in the delicacy of her beauty and the pageantry of dressing up. The gown he had selected for her was pale green matte crêpe and embroidered with crystals. She wore a diamond headdress with leaves. As Cecil snapped pictures of her reflection in the triptych mirror with his Brownie box camera, he repeated his mantra: “I don’t have a middle-class bone in my body.”

This feature is not currently available online.

Poetry Feature: R.T. Smith

Featuring the poems:

  • Gloves
  • Summoning the Shades [Poem of the Week February 26, 2013]
  • A Serpent’s Tooth

Poetry Feature: Justin Gardiner

Featuring the poems:

  • First Night South of the Antarctic Circle
  • Rebuttal
  • Sixty-Eight Degrees South, Marguerite Bay
  • Early Courtship Poem
  • Naming the Lifeboat [Poem of the Week February 5, 2013]

Poetry Feature: Peter Cooley

Featuring the poems:

  • Monuments
  • Rembrandt, Landscape with Obelisk
  • Rodin, The Thinker
  • Jouissance
  • From This Side
  • Portrait of Adam in Landscape with Swine [Poem of the Week March 19, 2013]

Under the Cloud

On October 19, 1942, nearly eleven months after the United States declared war on Japan, Major General Leslie Groves, the military head of what came to be known as the Manhattan Project, sat with Robert Oppenheimer on the Twentieth Century Limited. They must have appeared an odd pair—Groves with his bulldog face and elephantine body sitting across from Oppenheimer, his frame nearly skeletal in its thinness as he fidgeted and chain-smoked Chesterfields. At an undefined point as the train sped between Chicago and New York, Groves made his decision about the scientific leadership for the bomb, “the Gadget,” as some subsequent combination of secrecy and perversity named it.

This essay is not currently available online.

Stealing Pears

I knew there had been attacks here sometimes, men exposing themselves or robbing people who strayed here. I associated this area and the tramps who I thought lived here, wrongly, with the regicide judges, Goffe and Whalley, who, my mother told me, had hidden from King Charles I in Judges’ Cave, up beyond Whitney Avenue in West Rock Park.

This essay is not currently available online.

A Cruel Gap-Toothed Boy

The school principal is of no use, cannot do or refuses to do anything other than occasionally suspend this “Nate” for a handful of school days, which to a boy of that sort is more holiday than exile, giving him schoolless days on which he must do nothing aside from wander the beach throwing rocks at boats he doesn’t own and plotting how he might next make Emma hate herself a little bit more.

This story is not currently available online.


The rain had come on suddenly, soaking them partway to the skin, this on top of the spattering of mud all three wore on their shins and calves as well as the pronounced stripe of spray from the rear wheel up the backs of their shirts. They were almost in town, were patiently waiting their turn to pass through a bottleneck at the stop sign near the university, when it happened: Basil, at almost a full stop, and unable to remove his shoes from the cleats, fell over, fully attached to his bike.

This story is not currently available online.