a few months ago

Questions science cannot answer in this brilliant new novel

Gifty’s big brother Nana, a championship basketball player, was just a few years away from a likely berth in the NBA when he died of a heroin overdose, and her mother, a Ghanaian immigrant, had lain depressed in bed for years. So, it’s unsurprising that she herself had turned to a career in neuroscience to […]

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a few months ago

Racist stereotyping dominates this award-winning Hollywood satire

There’s a world of hurt in the best satire. At times, it’s inescapable. And that’s certainly the case with Charles Yu’s widely acclaimed second novel, Interior Chinatown. Couched as a filmscript, the book is the tale of a young Chinese-American man struggling to gain a foothold as an actor in Hollywood. The story is entertaining […]

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8 months ago

A compelling portrait of Indian society today

Nearly a decade ago, just five months after this novel was published, a brilliant nonfiction book entitled Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity illuminated the drama of life in one of the teeming slums that cluster together near the Mumbai international airport. It could be the very same slum […]

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10 months ago

Terrorism, corruption, and Hindu nationalism in India today

Few of us who live in comfortable circumstances—or just about anyone else, in fact—in the Global North can fully appreciate the impact of poverty and official corruption that runs rampant in so many of the nations clustered in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This is the reality the debut novelist Megha Majumdar lays bare in […]

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11 years ago

Fundraising and fundraisers come off poorly in “The Ask”

Meet Milo Burke, as inept, unstable, and self-doubting as any anti-hero who’s ever walked the earth. A failed painter whose sophomoric delusions of grandeur have long since drowned in waves of self-pity, Milo is employed as a fundraiser at what he insists on calling Mediocre University in New York City. His job is to snag […]

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