Photo of the author, Jenny Odell


“Hold Yourself Still”: Jenny Odell Would Now Like Your Attention

BY Brady Brickner-Wood

Refreshingly, How to Do Nothing does not ask its readers to throw their phone out a window or delete their social media accounts or snub their nose at a society that creatively stymies them. Odell writes: “I am less interested in a mass exodus from Facebook and Twitter than I am in a mass movement of attention: what happens when people regain control over their attention and begin to redirect it again, together.”

Book cover of 'Lost Children Archive'


An Inventory of Erasure: Limbo and Lucidity in “Lost Children Archive”

BY Ben Reed

Luiselli nor her narrator are archival amateurs. They are detached, sophisticated. They speak to us less out of love than out of duty. Luiselli the humanist is also a moralist; she refuses to get high on her own supply. She writes that her son’s frustration at choosing what to photograph as they drive “across this strange, beautiful, dark country, is simply a sign of how our ways of documenting the world have fallen short.”

Sally Rooney's books, 'Conversations with Friends' and 'Normal People.'


Eyes Like Cursors Blinking: On “Conversations with Friends” and “Normal People” by Sally Rooney

BY Rob Madole

What marks the writing as particularly unusual, though, is Rooney’s approach to characterization: one receives the impression that Rooney has a programmatic disinterest in depicting her characters’ inner lives. Or rather—and this, perhaps, is what makes her style feel so distinct—Rooney seems allergic to the leveling that’s entailed in consigning an emotional life to language.

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