A Year of Favorites: Tobias Carroll

I always get something wrong in these. There’s generally one book that I utterly forget to include, remember two days later, and curse myself for leaving out. And this year, I’m throwing in some thoughts on music, so that should offer even more opportunities for retrospective regret. I’m getting in just under the wire with this one, yes indeed.

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Mid-Year 2016: The Year’s Best Fiction (So Far)

Putting together this list of standout fiction published so far this year wasn’t an easy task, mostly because it could just as easily have been twice as long. It’s been a very good year for fiction, whether your tastes head more towards classical storytelling, or narrative innovation, or incisive societal observations. What follows is a list of some of the books published in the first half of 2016 that have impressed us the most. 

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“I’m a Discoverer, Not a Planner”: An Interview With Esmé Weijun Wang

Esme Weijun Wang

Esmé Weijun Wang‘s novel The Border of Paradise begins in familiar territory and rapidly ventures into the uncharted. It opens with the story of David Nowak, the scion of a prosperous Polish-American family in post-World War II Brooklyn struggling with conflicts familial and internal–but soon the narrative expands to include the stories of others, including his wife Jia-Hui and their children. The plot gradually shifts into bleaker and stranger places, and the result is a novel that pushes past the tropes of traditional stories to arrive at something more unpredictable and revelatory. I spoke with Wang to learn more about the novel’s structure, its evolution over time, and its inventive use of language.

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