Cover Story

A Brief History of Secession

Why Calexit might not be as crazy as you think

by Richard Striner


On Political Correctness

Power, class, and the new campus religion

by William Deresiewicz


How My Italian-American husband ate his way into the good graces of my African-American family

by Emily Bernard

The Cloistered Books of Peru

A convent in the Andes is home to a treasure trove of rare, and possibly unique, early volumes

by Helen Hazen

Keeping Faith

After a loss from which there is no recovery, I turned to books—not for solace or forgetting, but simply to survive

by Mark Lane

The Ultimate Pawn Sacrifice

My brother’s life mirrored that of Bobby Fischer, the deeply troubled chess master

by Jay Neugeboren


Editor's Note


Robert Wilson

Letter From …

Athens: Rocking the Cradle of Democracy

John Psaropoulos

Tuning Up

(Full Disclosure)

Ann Beattie

Commonplace Book

Spring 2017

Anne Matthews

American Places

Skagit Valley, Washington

Christine Sharp



Dennis McFarland


Shorter Means Sweeter

Langdon Hammer

Six Poems

Stephen Burt

Works in Progress

Boom and Bust

Eli Reichman

A More Mindful Economy

Clair Brown

Spheres of Influence

Elyse Graham

Alaska’s Close-Up

Noelani Kirschner

The Virtual Forest

Vanessa Schipani

Fast Food’s Urban Invasion

Naa Oyo A. Kwate


Scenes from a Lost World

Remember when urban life was gritty and bleak, but also poetic?

Robert Campbell

Some Perspective, Please

Why is the age-old technique of representing three dimensions so maligned today?

Lincoln Perry

Book Essay

Found in Translation

A poet learns how to feel and see and think and sound in the language of his adopted home

Piotr Florczyk

Book Reviews

More Than Human

The dawn of a technologically enhanced super-species is upon us

Michael Shermer

Robocops and Robbers

Criminal justice in the age of digital spying and surveillance

Jill Leovy

One Nation Under God

The contentious role of Christianity in politics

Dennis Covington

“Time to Plant Tears”

An intimate biography of one of the 20th century’s great poets

Dana Gioia

Taking Old Abe to Task

A historian’s uncommonly grim view of the Great Emancipator

David S. Reynolds

Travels in Literary Time

A writer’s excursions beyond mere archives

Jay Parini