Hannah Gold

  • Hunger Games

    IN 2014, the novelist and essayist Cynthia Ozick reviewed the collected fiction of Bernard Malamud for the New York Times. Ozick adores her slightly older contemporary for his bruised moral seriousness. The essay contains just one asterisk: “The reviewer has not read and is not likely ever to read ‘The Natural,’ a baseball novel said to incorporate a mythical theme. Myth may be myth, but baseball is still baseball, so never mind.”

    I can sympathize with Ozick’s reservations to a degree. When I take the Bull Durham approach to baseball—theorizing to myself late at night in a gorgeous Southern

  • Same Difference

    IN AN ESSAY ABOUT NATALIA GINZBURG, the Chilean novelist and critic Alejandro Zambra writes, “When someone repeats a story we presume they don’t remember that they’ve already told it, but often we repeat stories consciously, because we are unable to repress the desire, the joy of telling them again.” Of course the compulsion to retell a story is not always situated in joy’s lofty terrain. We might repeat a story in the hopes of shrinking it to a manageable bite, or because it reminds us of another story, or to shine up disagreeable aspects of our lives, or to mock it, perhaps secretly wishing