Around the world

The latest issue of Development Policy Review is free online. Paul Verbruggen and Tetty Havinga (Rodboud): The Rise of Transnational Private Meta-Regulators. Makau W. Mutua (SUNY Buffalo): What is the Future of Transitional Justice? Guy Sinclair (Victoria): State Formation, Liberal Reform, and the Growth of International Organizations. Adam Chilton and Eric Posner (Chicago): The Influence of History on States’ Compliance with Human Rights Obligations. Robin L. West (Georgetown): A Tale of Two

Paper Trail

The New York Times will provide headlines and short article summaries—with emojis—to the Apple Watch. Emily St. John Mandel’s novel Station Eleven has defeated Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See in the Morning News’s Tournament of Books final. One of the judges, Victor Lavalle, says of the two books: “Both risk looking foolishly


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

Thus Were Their Faces

The work of Argentine author Silvina Ocampo is rife with unlikely marriages, deadly weddings, and botched birthdays. Ocampo's funerals are cheerful, her fêtes funereal. For Ocampo, there is something sinister about the hypocrisy of celebration, and Thus Were Their Faces comprises a vengeful series of happy occasions gone wrong.


Jacob Rubin

Writing fiction about an impersonator is like playing Russian roulette with an allegory gun. Those who survive, whose books don't lapse into neat parables of the process of writing, tend to be brilliant. Examples include George Saunders (CivilWarLand in Bad Decline), Tom McCarthy (Remainder), and Pynchon (the reenactment of Alpdrucken in Gravity's Rainbow). The latest is Jacob Rubin, with his new novel The Poser, about the rise and fall of a gifted impressionist.


Repetition Compulsion

Namara Smith

Elena Ferrante is often asked about the classical influences in her work, and reading her early novels you can see why. They are strikingly compressed and spare, set largely in enclosed, almost anonymous, spaces that evoke the stage of a Greek drama, their focus turned inward. The Neapolitan series takes a different tack, resembling not the claustrophobic Greek tragedy but the expansive epic.