Jordan Larson

  • Fetal Positions

    As the earth melts, societies age, and economies slow, a narrative of humanity’s inevitable decline has settled in and calcified. It seems as though there’s no story left to tell but that of a slow descent into a gray future beset by any number of catastrophes. To hear pronatalists tell it, many of these will happen because we aren’t having enough babies. Fertility rates have hit an all-time low in the United States. For conservatives, this spells doom for all manner of American traditions: Social Security, masculinity, a robust economy, even democracy itself. New York Times columnist Ross

  • culture March 21, 2019

    Binstead's Safari by Rachel Ingalls

    Binstead’s Safari, a sort of housewife’s revenge novel by Rachel Ingalls, has no patience for interpretation. Like nearly all of Ingalls’s work, the book is heavily plotted but deceptively languorous, and its jumbling of the domestic and the bizarre places it just beyond the apprehensible. While on vacation with her husband, an academic who ignores and condescends to her, a browbeaten American named Millie decides to change her life. Her husband Stan Binstead, who has only reluctantly brought Millie along on his work trip, is too embarrassed to introduce her to his one London friend, and refuses

  • culture September 18, 2018

    Eden by Andrea Kleine

    Andrea Kleine’s novel opens with the confluence of two distinctly tabloid anxieties: divorce and kidnapping. Hope and her half-sister, Eden, latchkey kids of the 1990s, have grown up trekking back and forth between their home in Charlottesville and their father’s new place in the mountains. Both parents refuse to make the ninety-minute drive, so every other weekend the sisters take the Greyhound to the strip mall bus station where they bicker and study and wait for their father. On a Friday afternoon in the autumn of Hope’s freshman year of high school, he doesn’t show up. Eden, the older of

  • culture January 25, 2018

    Ultraluminous by Katherine Faw

    A woman with a set of fake names—Kata, Katya, Kasia, Katushka—has returned to New York after eighteen years in Dubai. Glass towers now crowd the Williamsburg waterfront and women yell at her to get out of the bike lane. Bodega cigarettes cost fourteen dollars and smoking in bars is against the law. It’s unclear why she’s come back, and even more unclear why, at eighteen, she left in the first place. “New York wants to trick me, make me think it’s gone soft,” she thinks. But bricks of heroin still come stamped: VERSACE and HERMÈS, then DRONE, RIHANNA, ISIS. She still works as a prostitute. “I