The Paris Review3 min read
In Praise of Travel, Particularly on Horseback
Carolus-Duran, Equestrian portrait of Mademoiselle Croizette, 1873, oil on canvas. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Michel de Montaigne is best imagined on horseback; firstly, because that was how he traveled around his own lands and between his
The Paris Review4 min read
Staff Picks: Satire, Suzi Wu, and Starling Days
Ma Jian. Photo: Flora Drew. © Flora Drew. Ma Jian’s China Dream, translated by Flora Drew and published earlier this month by Counterpoint Press, is a short, sharp-toothed satire of Xi Jinping’s China. The novel depicts a corrupt bureaucrat’s attempt
The Paris Review6 min read
Poetry Rx: Then the Letting Go
In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This column has run weekly for over a year, and now, our dear and
The Paris Review6 min read
Winter
Photo: Paxson Woelber, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)). Still sometimes late at night it slides in—what it felt like to think of my brother Tom outside. In the coldest seasons of his years of homelessne
The Paris Review12 min read
Taking on Edward Abbey: An Interview with Amy Irvine
Amy Irvine (Courtesy Torrey House Press) Amy Irvine is a writer and a mother, a competitive rock climber, an activist, a caregiver, and a truth teller. (She is also a friend.) Her latest book, Desert Cabal, is a fiercely tender and provocative respon
The Paris Review4 min read
The Art of Doodling
“Everyone is a collector in one way or another,” the English-teacher-turned-art-dealer David Schulson would tell his children. “Everyone has the impulse to collect.” What Schulson didn’t say is that the impulse to collect often contains within it ano
The Paris Review4 min read
Daša Drndić’s ‘EEG’ And The Joys Of Pessimism
Daša Drndić The most convincing literary pessimists are superior stylists. They smooth their nihilistic impulses into pleasing shapes. Despair is largely inimical to art, while melancholy—its pensive, perfumed cousin—makes of the void something parad
The Paris Review2 min read
Redux: Summer Surprised Us
Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Re
The Paris Review10 min read
Queerness, Cyborgs, and Cephalopods: An Interview with Franny Choi
Franny Choi isn’t done thinking about cyborgs. When we met two weeks before the release of her latest collection Soft Science, she told me she was still discovering AI ideas she wished she could have addressed in her poems. Reckoning with the mytholo
The Paris Review5 min read
Somehow I Became Respectable
John Waters. Illustration by Ken Ingels. Somehow I became respectable. I don’t know how—the last film I directed got some terrible reviews and was rated NC-17. Six people in my personal phone book have been sentenced to life in prison. I did an art p
The Paris Review6 min read
Literary Paper Dolls: Franny
© Original illustrations by Jenny Kroik Before I was a tomboy or a clotheshorse or a loser or a teenager, I was a bookworm. In that happy valley before puberty, my greatest bliss was to be given both a book and the permission to play dress-up all at
The Paris Review11 min read
Francesca Lia Block and Nineties Nostalgia
Has there ever been a novel with a more misleading opening sentence than Weetzie Bat? Francesca Lia Block’s 1989 debut begins: The reason Weetzie Bat hated high school was because no one understood. On the basis of that sentence alone—its stale famil
The Paris Review4 min read
Something Always Remains
Some people collect rocks. Others collect stamps. Peter Merlin, a former NASA archivist who’s become a leading expert on military aircraft and Area 51, collects the physical remnants of government secrets. As he explains in the artist Trevor Paglen’s
The Paris Review9 min read
What Our Contributors Are Reading This Spring
Paul Beatty. Photo: Hannah Assouline. No American novelist riffs like Paul Beatty. His superlative novel Slumberland established his comic mastery years before he won the Man Booker Prize in 2016. Set in Berlin just before (and after) the fall of the
The Paris Review6 min read
Visual Magicians In The Hills Of Connecticut
On John Kane’s photography of Pilobolus and Momix. John Kane, Where landscape becomes dreamscape, 2008. (All images copyright John Kane. Used by permission.) In the hills of northwestern Connecticut there is a portion of the state, a rural and rural-
The Paris Review4 min read
More Obscene than De Sade
In his biweekly column, Pinakothek, Luc Sante excavates and examines miscellaneous visual strata of the past. “Maybe it would be better if we stopped seeing one another. Maybe there is no remedy to our solitude because … we don’t love each other enou
The Paris Review13 min read
A Mosh Pit of One’s Own
Fea. Photo courtesy of Blackheart. “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction,” Virginia Woolf writes in 1929. The same applies to being a musician, in that Woolf really means autonomy, making your own space in which to
The Paris Review7 min read
On Nighttime
Hanif Abdurraqib’s new monthly column, Notes on Pop, muses on the relationship between songs and memory. Source: Thinkstock I find myself most aware of silence when I am thinking about the many ways it can be punctured. Under the wrong circumstances,
The Paris Review6 min read
The Hidden Harper Lee
Harper Lee. Photo: Michael Brown. © Michael Brown. At the end of the profile that Harper Lee wrote of Truman Capote when he published In Cold Blood, she speculated that “Kansans will spend the rest of their days at the tantalizing game of discovering
The Paris Review2 min read
Redux: Disappointment Is Oily
Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Re
The Paris Review8 min read
The Toxicity of Female Tokenism: An Interview with Kathleen Alcott
Though Kathleen Alcott’s third novel, America Was Hard to Find, is set in the mid-twentieth century, its concerns are eerily current—nearly every character is caught between the stability of convention and the blazing allure of revolution. Alcott dep
The Paris Review8 min read
Children with Mothers Don’t Eat Houses
Sabrina Orah Mark’s monthly column, Happily, focuses on fairy tales and motherhood.  Turns out, for three months, Eli, my five year old, had a small black pebble in his ear. Don’t ask me why it never bothered him or why I never noticed. I am only hi
The Paris Review8 min readPolitics
The Ideal Place to Disappear: An Interview with Julia Phillips
The Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia is a sparsely populated landmass that sits atop the Pacific Ring of Fire. Forty percent of the land is covered by volcanoes, twenty-nine of which are active. There are earthquakes, hot springs, extreme weather, brown
The Paris Review8 min readSociety
Feminize Your Canon: Mariama Bâ
Our monthly column Feminize Your Canon explores the lives of underrated and underread female authors. As a Muslim schoolgirl in Senegal in the forties, Mariama Bâ had to choose her life’s direction at the age of fourteen. When girls graduated from p
The Paris Review5 min read
Books Only a Mother Could Love
Ali Smith. Photo: Christian Sinibaldi. © Christian Sinibaldi. Dear Mum, I know it’s not Mother’s Day in Scotland, but it is here in America, so: Happy Mother’s Day (Reprise)! The Queen has two birthdays—maybe you can have two Mother’s Days? Anyway, I
The Paris Review10 min read
Cooking With Martial And Catullus
In Valerie Stivers’s Eat Your Words series, she cooks up recipes drawn from the works of various writers. In ancient Rome, poetry was pop culture, and being a poet was a viable living of sorts—you attached yourself to a patron and wrote flattering w
The Paris Review5 min read
The Winners of 92Y’s 2019 Discovery Poetry Contest
For nearly seven decades, 92Y’s Discovery Poetry Contest has recognized the exceptional work of poets who have not yet published a first book. Many of these writers—John Ashbery, Mark Strand, Lucille Clifton, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Brigit Pegeen Kelly,
The Paris Review8 min read
Poetry Rx: Mother’s Day Edition
In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This week, Sarah Kay is on the line. ©Ellis Rosen Dear Poets — P
The Paris Review4 min read
One Word: Bitch
In our column One Word, writers expound on a single word of their choosing. For this iteration, we asked Danez Smith to write about the word that underpins their poem “my bitch!” in our Spring 2019 issue.  I can tell who’s calling me from across the
The Paris Review8 min read
Listen to Hebe Uhart, Now That She’s Gone
Read Hebe Uhart’s short story “Coordination,” which appears in the Spring 2019 issue. Hebe Uhart. Photo: Agustina Fernández. In section 16, grave 34 of the Chacarita Cemetery in Buenos Aires, pumpkins and tomatoes now grow. Pumpkins and tomatoes, jus
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