'Women's Identity Is Composed of Myths': Author Samantha Hunt on Mermaids and the Reissue of The Seas 

Nearly a decade before Samantha Hunt published her haunting novel Mr. Splitfoot and years before The Invention of Everything Else was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, she published The Seas, a poetical and ghostly novel about a girl stuck in a seaside town struggling with the nature of identity and language.…

A Conversation with Alissa Nutting on Intimacy, Florida, and Dolphins 

Alissa Nutting’s wildly comedic Made for Love is a novel about many fetishes. It’s a book of a 76-year-old father’s obsession with a “life-size woman doll [...] the kind designed to provide a sexual experience”; as well as one about Jasper, a sexy, Jesus-looking con man who repents after a satisfying sexual encounter…

Paula Hawkins Talks 'Troublesome Women,' 'Good Men,' and Her New Book, Into the Water

Paula Hawkins’s new page-turner, Into the Water, is set is in Beckford, a small tourist town in northern England. The town is unremarkable excepting its scenery; Beckford sits on an attractive river that draws tourists to play on its sandy banks and lures “troublesome women” to their watery deaths. The bend in the…

A Conversation with Elif Batuman on Freshman Awkwardness, Email, and Her Novel The Idiot

Elif Batuman’s debut novel, The Idiot, is a novel about language. Or, more specifically, it’s about language’s inability to communicate feelings or ideas accurately. If that sounds boring or unfunny, then I suppose I’m proving Batuman’s point because The Idiot is rich and comedic; it’s also meandering and wonderfully…

Katie Kitamura Talks Infidelity, Role Playing, and Grief in Her New Novel A Separation 

The narrator of Katie Kitamura’s novel A Separation has a secret. After five years of marriage, the unnamed narrator is separated from her philandering husband Christopher. He has asked for a divorce and, alienated from marriage and her spouse, she readily agrees. There’s just one catch: Christopher has also asked her…

Zadie Smith's Swing Time Is a Compelling Portrait of Race and Female Friendship 

If ever a novel captured the frenzied feeling of girlhood, with all of its conscious choreography and missteps and pure elegance, it’s Zadie Smith’s Swing Time. The book traces the friendship of two girls, the unnamed narrator and her best friend, Tracey, from the 1980s through the modern day, jumping back and forth…