The belief in free will is necessary to most good fiction. Without it, characters must be made to drift indifferently from one prospect to another. Human decisions will seem either not to matter or to be unconvincingly portrayed. It is not essential that the novelist himself fully believe in free wi…
The Weightless Characters of William Styron
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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.
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The Man Who Lived
Snigdha Poonam reports from India, where rumours spreading over WhatsApp fuel flash mobs, political violence and murder.