The Millions

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Revisiting Vladimir Nabokov’s ‘Speak Memory’ During the Pandemic

At the Guardian, Ryan Chapman recounts how Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak, Memory resonated with him during the pandemic and helped him navigate our changed reality. “My listlessness ended after I pulled Vladimir Nabokov’s autobiography Speak, Memory from my bookshelf,” Chapman writes, “more or less at random. I first read it 10 years ago and quickly saw...

Panel Mania: ‘My Broken Mariko’

In manga artist Waka Hirako’s My Broken Mariko, Tomoyo, a young professional woman, is shocked to learn that Mariko, her closest friend, has committed suicide. But Tomoyo also knows Mariko was physically and psychologically abused by her father from a young age. In this eight-page excerpt, Tomoyo decides to avenge the unnecessary death of her friend...

Making Sense of Trauma: The Millions Interviews Melanie Abrams

The title of Melanie Abrams’s second novel, Meadowlark, evokes something peaceful, tranquil. From the first page, however, readers are thrown into a series of increasingly volatile scenarios. It soon becomes clear that the idea of tranquility, while indeed present in the novel, is always just out of reach, buried under the complexity of power, cults,...

Claudia Rankine on Seeking Shared Realities

At Lit Hub, Claudia Rankine discusses her newest book, Just Us: An American Conversation, with Catherine Barnett, explaining how it does not seek out easy answers. “Just Us might be a desperately seeking conversation,” Rankine says. “I don’t want to suggest these interactions are conversations seeking answers but rather something more like conversations...

An American Nightmare: The Millions Interviews Dave Eggers

With the presidential election drawing near, it seems there has been an increase in Trump-related books, though the publishing industry has steadily published titles about Trump or inspired by him since he took office. Dave Eggers, author of numerous books, founder of McSweeney’s and Scholar Match, and co-founder of 826 Valencia and Voice of Witness,...

Tuesday New Release Day: Starring Clarke, Akhtar, Nemerever, and More

Here’s a quick look at some notable books—new titles from the likes of Susannah Clarke, Ayad Akhtar, Micah Nemerever, and more—that are publishing this week. Want to learn more about upcoming titles? Then go read our most recent book preview. Want to help The Millions keep churning out great books coverage? Then become a member today. These Violent...

Decoding Moments of Tension in Edith Wharton’s ‘The Age of Innocence’

At the Guardian, Sam Jordinson reflects on the many moments of sexual tension found in Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer-winning novel, The Age of Innocence. “Every small moment takes on huge significance,” Jordinson writes. “Archer and May’s brief disagreements over whether or not windows should be left open somehow say more about the state of their relationship...

Writing, Always Writing: On Charles Baxter, Craft, and Aging

There’s a maxim in the teaching of creative writing: like death, a story’s ending should be unexpected, yet inevitable. Across an impressive half-century career full of books, accolades, classroom hours, and awards (including a Guggenheim Fellowship, multiple Pushcart Prizes, and the Rea Award for the Short Story), Charles Baxter has mastered this maxim....

Baking Pies Inspired By Italo Calvino

At the Paris Review, Valerie Stivers takes on a literary baking challenge: crafting pies inspired by the works of Italo Calvino, using ingredients culled from his books and family history. “I must have been high on his genius, creativity, and playfulness when I attempted to climb into the trees myself,” she writes, “and invent a series of Calvino-inspired...

Too Beautifully Sinister Not to Indulge: The Millions Interviews Adam Wilson

Adam Wilson’s second novel, Sensation Machines, opens on Michael and Wendy, a couple desperate to eradicate their home of bedbugs, and from there the novel quickly swoops and swarms to include a murder, a corporate conspiracy, a world-changing invention, and the rampant disquiet of global economic pressures. It’s a novel based in relationships that...

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