John Safran photographed by Germain McMicking.
Elizabeth McCracken photographed by Edward Carey.
Elizabeth McCracken doesn’t consider herself to be a particularly dark and twisty person.
“I love my husband, I love my kids, I don’t find life difficult and fraught,” says McCracken, author of National Book Award finalist The Giant’s House. And yet in her latest, Thunderstruck & Other Stories, children disappear. Mothers go missing. Library patrons murder and are murdered, and the children’s room rabbit dies and lies in state awaiting deposition by a Department of Public Works shovel.
Laura Kipnis photographed by Pieter M. van Hattem.
“Can I borrow that when you’re done?” a woman asked on a recent flight, affectionately patting my copy of Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation.
It wasn’t the first time Laura Kipnis’s work got mistaken for self help.
“I don’t [give advice], and I never wanted to,” Kipnis says, “but when you write a book called ‘Against Love,’ people do try to read it for advice. So it’s true I get email from people—and maybe ...
Molly Gloss photographed by Gretchen Corbett.
Some characters stay with us long after the last page turns. Those left pondering spirited Martha Lessen, who broke horses and gender barriers circa 1917 in Molly Gloss’ The Hearts of Horses, will meet her as a supporting player, two decades hence, in Falling From Horses, Gloss’ new novel.
In 1938, Martha’s married to sensitive cowboy Henry Frazer, and they’re still ranching, shoulder to shoulder. They’ve had two children, a boy and a girl—and a fair share of misfortune ...
Jake Halpern photographed by Kasia Lipska.
Buffalo, New York, the unofficial capital of the U.S. debt collection industry, happens to be investigative journalist Jake Halpern’s hometown. As an NPR commentator and producer, and the author of Braving Home: Dispatches from the Underwater Town, the Lava-Side Inn, and Other Extreme Locales (2003), Halpern is used to traveling widely in pursuit of a story—but his latest endeavor proves that the destination need not be far-flung to feel like a world apart.
“The thing that I love ...
It's not your typical taxidermy
A downy white piglet, bejeweled. An antelope with enhanced silver antlers sporting the Yves Saint Laurent logo. A baby crocodile with a wind-up key sprouting from its back. A lion in sweet repose, its torso giving way to graduated globules of gold.
This isn’t your big-game-hunting great-uncle’s taxidermy, but a compendium of contemporary artworks by a diverse group of rogue taxidermists: Julia deVille of Australia, Peter Gronquist of Portland, Ore., Lisa Black of New Zealand and The Idiots (Afke Golsteijn ...
Jane Smiley photographed by Elena Seibert.
Jane Smiley is one of three siblings. Her mother was one of five, and her grandfather was one of 10. That meant cousins and second cousins, and lots of them.
“There was this sense of there always being someone around to play with or to criticize or to talk about—and my family were very big talkers about,” Smiley says. “My mother and her various siblings and my grandfather were terrific storytellers. My grandparents had had a fairly adventurous life ...
Meg Wolitzer photographed by Nina Subin.
Meg Wolitzer was introduced to The Bell Jar by a smart friend at age 15.
“I remember reading it on a train and being so caught up by the inevitability of it, because I knew Plath had committed suicide,” Wolitzer says. “There are some books that, once you know what they’re about, there’s like a rope that’s pulling you through. Some of the books that I love cause great unease... and certainly The Bell Jar does, not just because ...