The Novel Didn’t Come from Monkeys: Aleksandar Hemon’s “Aquarium”

I have finally recovered enough from Aleksandar Hemon’s essay “The Aquarium”—about losing his nine-month-old daughter to a brain tumor—from the New Yorker’s summer fiction issue to commit my thoughts to writing.  For all the piece faults the friends who claimed, as Hemon and his wife struggled to navigate their child’s rapidly deteriorating condition, that “words [...]

Why Deborah Baker Is Not Janet Malcolm

I had a very short review of The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism by Deborah Baker in Sunday’s issue of The Daily, but given the constraints of both space and technology, I figured I’d embellish here.  The Convert is, superficially speaking, a short biography of Maryam Jameelah, formerly Margaret Marcus—a Jewish convert to [...]

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