Reading a French novelist’s examination of liminal space in a plague year
A look at our readers’ favorite articles, poems, short stories, and interviews from 2020.
Samuel R. Delany
Getting ready not to be.
Finding history and meaning on a journey across the sea.
Lorraine O’Grady tackles the knotty interrelations between text and image.
A diary of immigration and lost love.
Langston Hughes and my friend, the apocalypse actuary.
Feminism, identity, and the willingness to be defeated.
American violence and the grace of black nonchalance.
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 responds to the work of artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres in a meditation on loss, language, and counting the nameless.
Counting votes in Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County
How cosmic horror gave me hope.
Raised by neglectful parents, I didn’t know my name until I went to kindergarten. Then I became a writer.
How to mourn a planet.
The secret story of a forger whose photographs memorialized the anonymous faces of post-war Paris.
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.
From the Review in 1977: When Alexandra Tolstoy’s father died, she was left to manage the literary giant’s ascetic, vegetarian followers
Trying to find the language for the loss of a sibling.
What if we deployed ecstasy in the middle of struggle—even in the middle of the grief of protesting police brutality?
The law of entropy and life as a fill-in employee, and girlfriend.
“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.
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
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
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.
Soul-killing, inefficient, and racist to the core, the American commute is deeply wrong