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Lessons in Empathy

Attack and temptation awaken in their targets a similar brand of self-revelation. In either case, something neither asked for nor pursued comes to one’s doorstep, and along with its heralding of diverse, powerful emotion is the choice of how to respond.

In Conversation

LAUREN GROFF with Matthew Daddona

Lauren Groff, whose best-selling second novel, Arcadia, was released by Hyperion/Voice in March 2012 to unremitting praise, is a young author who certainly knows the value of a good story (and the modesty involved in admitting something is “good”).

Men Being Played

Jim Gavin’s Middle Men is a fantastic book for any number of reasons, not least of which is its genesis story (he’s one of those plucked-from-the-slush-at-the-New-Yorker genesis stories that are both maddening but glorious, evidence that the unlikely is always worth believing in).

Technoir at Light Speed

From the opening moments, when a naked man with a shotgun kills Detective John Tallow’s partner in a burst of intoxicating gore, Warren Ellis’s Gun Machine takes the reader into several ghost maps laid out over New York City like superimposed squares of vellum.

Where Food is Family

You could buy pickled herring on the Internet right now. You could also buy smoked salmon, whitefish, and tubs of cream cheese. In fact, you don’t need to leave your house to purchase anything anymore.

Wandering Beauty

“Rise up, Mrs. Oakley, you are not alone!” Mary Ruefle exclaims at the end of “County Fair,” a sad yet comic poem about a woman who loses in all seven categories of a baked goods competition.

A Wide Open Mind

By any objective account, Aaron Swartz, the programmer and activist who killed himself on January 11 of this year, was a genius.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2013

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