To Catch a Sunset

Reflections on allergies, anxieties, and the limits of familial love

The Next New Thing

In architecture, the gulf between the traditional and the modern seems wider than ever before


Her brother’s disease leads a writer to challenge how we conceive of human abnormality in the emerging era of gene editing

The Widower’s Lament

After the death of the poet Wendy Barker, her grieving husband turns to the literature of loss

The World at the End of a Line

The grandson of one of American literature’s Lost Generation novelists reflects on his namesake’s love of the sea

The Goddess Complex

A set of revered stone deities was stolen from a temple in northwestern India; their story can tell us much about our current reckoning with antiquities trafficking

Last Rites and Comic Flights

A funeral in a 1984 Japanese film offers moments of slapstick amid the solemnity

The Believer

When nobody would touch Joyce’s manuscript, Sylvia Beach stepped in

Ter Conatus

Reading Joyce in a minor key

Know Me Come Eat With Me

In the world of Ulysses, food turns out to be everything

Summer on the Sweet Grass

Notes from a Montana ranch

The Ultimate Cost of Our Endless Wars

Could the debt alone deal a fatal blow to our democracy?

Present-Day Thoughts on the Quality of Life (1969)

Jacques Barzun delivered this lecture half a century ago

The Hedgehog’s Great Escape

A young Frenchwoman who ran the Allies’ most persistent spy group was in the Gestapo’s grasp

Orwell’s Last Neighborhood

While envisioning the darkest of futures and grappling with mortality, the English writer retreated to an idyllic Scottish isle to write Nineteen Eighty-Four

At Play in the Fields of the Bored

America’s newest city parks are chock-full of things to do—but what happened to the delights of idle time in a natural setting?

The Man Behind the Counter

A neighborhood grocer, inscrutable and gruff, lingers mysteriously in my memory

When Teachers Strike

Yes, strikes cause upheaval. But for some schools, upheaval is already the norm.

Apocalypse Then and Now

Last in a series of half-century reflections

A Symphony of Sounds

The surprising storytelling powers of background noise


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