Cover Story

The Examined Lie

A meditation on memory

by James McWilliams


Talk of the Town

At the Concord Lyceum, Emerson tried out his lectures on his neighbors

by Robert A. Gross

Matters of Taste

A work of literature and a bottle of wine require similar skills of their respective critics

by Paul Lukacs

The Wandering Years

The travel journals of a literary icon making his way in the world

by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

My Mother’s Yiddish

The music of my childhood was a language filled with endearments and rebukes, and frequent misunderstandings

by Phyllis Rose

Net Gains

Nabokov's profitable summer chasing butterflies and settling scores in the Utah mountains

by Robert Roper

Saigon Summer

A spy’s daughter remembers the haunting unreality of embassy life in South Vietnam before the fall

by Sarah Mansfield Taber


Editor's Note


Robert Wilson

Letters From …

Letter from Myanmar: A Glimmer of Hope

Ingrid McDonald

Commonplace Book

Summer 2015

Anne Matthews

Book Reviews

It Takes a Laboratory

Sam Kean

Boldly Going No More

Nathalie Lagerfeld


S. C. Gwynne

Big Shoulders

Louise Fabiani

The Paper Chase

Werner Gundersheimer

Fantastic Four

Jan Morris

Back Talk

Coming Up Trumps

Ralph Keyes


N Judah

Robert Cohen

A Diptych Translated from Scratch

Mark Budman


The Foundling Tokens

Robert Pinsky

Three Données

Ange Mlinko


Southern Exposure

Inspired by the structures and landscapes of rural Alabama, photographer William Christenberry has spun a narrative that is long, rich, and universal

Andy Grundberg

Cold Truths

The Iceman Cometh and the destructiveness of dreams

Wendy Smith

Strong but Quiet

The achievement of Andrea del Sarto

Ingrid D. Rowland

Tuning Up