Nonfiction

Seth Lerer 

Reading a French novelist’s examination of liminal space in a plague year

The Editors 

A look at our readers’ favorite articles, poems, short stories, and interviews from 2020.

Samuel R. Delany 

Getting ready not to be.

Jonah Mixon-Webster 

Finding history and meaning on a journey across the sea.

Lorraine O'Grady 

Lorraine O’Grady tackles the knotty interrelations between text and image.

Bhanu Kapil 

A diary of immigration and lost love.

Anne Boyer 

Langston Hughes and my friend, the apocalypse actuary.

Maria Tumarkin 

Feminism, identity, and the willingness to be defeated.

Namwali Serpell 

American violence and the grace of black nonchalance.

Anne Boyer 

Capitalism and its affronts to common sense.

Philippe Lançon, translated by Steven Randall 

I survived a terrorist attack. I never expected my story might console others.

Ann Lauterbach 

Ann Lauterbach responds to the work of artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres in a meditation on loss, language, and counting the nameless.

John Witt 

Counting votes in Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County

Kieran Setiya 

How cosmic horror gave me hope.

Maureen Sun 

Raised by neglectful parents, I didn’t know my name until I went to kindergarten. Then I became a writer.

Erica Berry 

How to mourn a planet.

Hannah Sassoon 

The secret story of a forger whose photographs memorialized the anonymous faces of post-war Paris.

Adolfo Kaminsky 

A portfolio of the work of Adolfo Kaminsky, the forger who saved the lives of 14,000 Jews, then took to the streets as silent witness to post-war life.

Wendy S. Walters 

Anything can become a weapon in America, especially against those who dare to cross the color line.

Alexandra Tolstoy 

From the Review in 1977: When Alexandra Tolstoy’s father died, she was left to manage the literary giant’s ascetic, vegetarian followers

Brianna Zimmerman 

Trying to find the language for the loss of a sibling.

Roger Reeves 

What if we deployed ecstasy in the middle of struggle—even in the middle of the grief of protesting police brutality?

Victoria Kornick 

The law of entropy and life as a fill-in employee, and girlfriend.

Alex Golshani 

“It’s more dangerous now. I’m seeing a lot more aggression from the police.”

Michael G. Cooke  

Yale’s first Black professor on the presence or absence of names, their status and their scope. From the Spring 1977 edition of The Review.

Thornton Wilder 

In 1941, Thornton Wilder visited a nation in crisis, witnessing a remarkable and strange resolve. From the Autumn 1941 edition of The Yale Review.

I shall never forget that first winter of gasoline rationing

Eve Riehle 

Originally published in the Autumn 1945 edition of The Yale Review.

To read a book well, one should read it as if one were writing it

Virginia Woolf 

Originally published in the Autumn 1926 edition of The Yale Review.

I lost the right to vote and found a new understanding of America

Feisal G. Mohamed 

Being shut out of the central rite of democratic life is an odd feeling at first. 

Jess Row 

Soul-killing, inefficient, and racist to the core, the American commute is deeply wrong