More than forty of my essays are now available in one volume as The End of Solitude: Selected Essays on Culture and Society. The pieces below are either too new to have been included (“Recent”) or are literary reviews and thus fall outside the scope of the collection (“Selected Older”).
Where Have You Gone, Annie Dillard?
Annie Dillard. The Atlantic, March 2016.
Elena Ferrante, The Neapolitan Novels. The Nation, October 12, 2015.
John Updike. The New Republic, September 15, 2014.
Dread and Wonder
Ludmilla Petrushevskaya. The Nation, March 5, 2014.
The Jewish Mark Twain
Sholem Aleichem. The Atlantic, January/February 2014.
Anne Beattie, The New Yorker Stories and Mrs. Nixon. The Nation, December 12, 2011.
The Children’s Hospital
David Foster Wallace, The Pale King. The Nation, July 4-11, 2011.
The Whole Human Mess
Saul Bellow. The Nation, December 13, 2010.
The Renunciation Artist
Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories. The Nation, March 1, 2010.
Aracataca and Sucre
Gabriel García Márquez. The Nation, September 21, 2009.
Last Evenings on Earth
Roberto Bolaño, 2666. The New Republic, February 18, 2009.
There Is No Right Side of History
Against the progressive myth of history. The Free Press, January 2, 2023.
On Not Drinking the Kool-Aid
Woke art, and art and politics more generally. Salmagundi, Fall 2022-Winter 2023.
Why I Left Academia (Since You’re Wondering)
Quillette, August 17, 2022.
A defense of great books courses. Liberties, Summer 2022
We Aren’t Raising Adults. We Are Breeding Very Excellent Sheep.
The intersection of wokeness and excellent sheephood. Common Sense, May 24, 2022.
On the Bobos
The political stupidity of the liberal elite. Salmagundi, Spring-Summer 2022.
American Education’s New Dark Age
On campus wokeness. UnHerd, March 2022.
Escaping American Tribalism
Learning to question my beliefs more deeply than I ever had before. UnHerd, March 2022.
Disenchantment and Dogma
On the limits, and virtues, of secularism. Salmagundi, Fall 2021-Winter 2022.
Human History Gets a Rewrite
A review of David Graeber and David Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. The Atlantic, November 2021.
Stages of Grief
What the pandemic has done to the arts economy. Harper’s, June 2021.