In his New England town, when Hawkins was a boy, Independence Day was celebrated by the torching of a bonfire, an immense tower of stacked railroad ties stuffed with tyres. The grown-ups set up canvas lawn chairs on the ancient cinder track or the scrub grass of the ball field, kids horsed around on…
Our most popular reads of 2018
Who Killed Tolstoy?
Elif Batuman travels to the International Tolstoy Conference in Russia to determine, once and for all, if Leo Tolstoy was murdered.
Abuse, Silence, and the Light That Virginia Woolf Switched On
When Virginia Woolf was thirteen, she was abused by her half-brother George Duckworth. No one believed her – not even her biographers.
A Few Words about Fake Breasts
Nell Boeschenstein on the fraught discourse surrounding post-mastectomy reconstruction.
Jillian Weise explains what being a cyborg really means.
The Man Who Lived
Snigdha Poonam reports from India, where rumours spreading over WhatsApp fuel flash mobs, political violence and murder.
Best Book of 1949: The Thief’s Journal
‘To read it is to feel the alternative tempo in the rude repetitions of the thief who loves to steal.’
Best Book of 1935: Junichiro Tanizaki’s The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi
Naben Ruthnum on the best book of 1935: Junichiro Tanizaki's The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi.
Best Book of 2012: Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell, by Katherine Angel
Rebecca Watson on the best book of 2012: Unmastered, by Katherine Angel.