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When I first saw The Squid and the Whale, I—a child of the 1980s, a child of divorce, a city child—saw a lot I recognized. Noah Baumbach’s 2005 semi-autobiographical film chronicles the breakup of a marriage in Brooklyn in 1986, and how its two children grapple with a way of new understanding their parents. It wasn’t an identical map—what ever is?—but it hit a few notes I hadn’t really ever heard outside my own...
Last week, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and BuzzFeed launched an ambitious new reading program, “One Book, One New York,” aimed to unite the country’s most literary city (I will fight you) with a single title. With the announcement, One Book, One New York becomes the largest community reading program in the country: offering an initial selection of five books—culled by five celebrities from a long list compiled by librarians, academics, and...
Everything is relative. It’s just as hard to write a good short story as it is to write a good novel. It’s harder, also, to write a bad novel than it is to write a bad short story. (More pages, more time.) Hardest of all, though, is a good collection of short stories. On the phone with Rion Amilcar Scott, I compared it to hitting ten grand slams in a row. It’s hyperbolic, sure,...

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