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Omnivore

A stunning statistic about China

Yihan Xiong (SIRPA): The Broken Ladder: Why Education Provides No Upward Mobility for Migrant Children in China. The myth of Chinese super schools: Diane Ravitch reviews Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon? Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World by Yong Zhao. Chenyang Li (NTU): The Confucian Concept of Freedom. Nick Holdstock on how super-fast bus systems are “the best hope” for fixing China’s urban gridlock. Bill Gates on a stunning statistic about China and concrete.


Paper Trail

Stieg Larsson is dead, but his character Lisbeth Salander is not. Larsson’s family negotiated with the publisher to choose someone to carry on the book franchise, and together they chose David Lagercrantz, who’s previously co-written a memoir by a soccer star. The new novel will “obviously build on the previous book,” the publisher has said, but

Syllabi

Andre Dubus's best characters

Bibi DeitzAndre Dubus's literary superpower is to hit upon that one thing about a character that makes him him, or her her. And in so doing, with subtle, clever details—breadcrumbs on the trail to the nucleus

Daily Review

Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found

Humans are easy to decapitate: Our large heads rest on little necks. Most mammals have thick muscles joining the shoulders with the base of the skull; ours are so slender that our spines show through the skin. It is the price tag of standing upright, of casting off the hominid hunch.

    Interviews

    Miranda July

    In Miranda July's films and short stories, the protagonist is usually shut off from the world: insular, habit-prone, and to the outside world, a little weird, The beauty of Cheryl Glickman, the narrator of July's debut novel, The First Bad Man, is that she's come to see her idiosyncrasies as totally logical, After reading several pages of Cheryl's chatty internal monologue, the reader will, too.

    Appreciation

    On Cortázar

    Becca Rothfeld

    Reading Hopscotch—reading Julio Cortázar—is a bit like navigating a labyrinth. Behind each corner, each chapter doubling back on itself, lurks the prospect of an unforeseen encounter, at once disturbing and tantalizing. Distances are distorted. Ostensible shortcuts will lead you on a scenic route that provides alternate, unexpected perspectives. All the while, Cortázar’s work invokes a sort of Zeno’s Paradox.

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