User's Guide

A portrait of author Hisham Matar, seated in a chair in front of an abstract background of birds and circles.
The Missing

A User's Guide to Hisham Matar

A User's Guide to Zadie Smith

Whether writing about Brexit or defining the painful and ecstatic parameters of joy, Smith has a near preternatural understanding of the fictions we repeat to ourselves in order to function daily.

A User's Guide to Shirley Jackson

The author wrote what she knew, but also what she believed, what she feared, and what she was constantly trying to run away from.

A User's Guide to John Irving

When women can't speak up, a chorus of voices should rise to their aid, though that often seems like too much to hope for. John Irving understands this in a way most male writers don't or can't.

A User's Guide to Judy Blume

Or: a letter to my niece, who is five.

A User's Guide to Kazuo Ishiguro

With The Buried Giant, the author of Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day has again conjured the unexpected. Here, an attempted primer for an indefinable writer.

The Sympathetic Guide to William T. Vollmann

Vollmann isn't post-modern so much as a 19th-century Romantic, roping himself to his desk. If you’re not in the mood it’s too rich; if you are, it’s a banquet.