Annalisa Quinn

"Is there any yoked creature without its private opinions?" asks George Eliot in her novel Middlemarch. Much of Kazuo Ishiguro's fiction is told from the perspective of the ancillary, the dependent, the tangential and functionary: In Never Let Me Go, what begins as a boarding school novel gradually becomes dystopian horror, when we realize it is being narrated by clones being raised to have their organs harvested for the general population.

Summerwater, by Sarah Moss, takes place over a single day of unrelenting rain at a vacation site in the Scottish Trossachs. Families are huddled in damp holiday cottages, a "muddle of softening wooden walls" with "eyes at every window."

"I'm not even taking photos because who wants to remember this," complains a teenage girl. "I can't exactly post, can I, 'more rain on more trees, rain again, trees again, more rain, more trees, hashtag summer holiday, hashtag family fun.'"

On a June night in 1995, a package was found in the mailroom of the Washington Post. Inside was a 56-page manuscript and a letter from "FC," the signature of the man the FBI called the Unabomber.

At this point, he had sent out 16 bombs to targets across the U.S., killing three people.

The Unabomber would stop killing, the letter promised, if either the Washington Post or The New York Times published the manifesto in full, as Leonard Downie Jr. recounts in All About the Story, his memoir of his 44-year career at the newspaper.

Clarissa Ward realized she wanted to be a conflict reporter in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. A senior at Yale, she had watched the towers burn on a friend's television.

In those moments, Ward, now CNN's chief international correspondent, felt not just horror but shame — "that I had not been paying proper attention to what was happening in the world, that I had been so self-absorbed," she writes in a new book.

The Lying Life of Adults, a new novel by the pseudonymous Italian author Elena Ferrante, is slinky and scowling as a Neapolitan cat. As promised, its subject is the part of life that adults lie about — sex, yes, but more precisely the chaos, infidelity and fear that hang on sex, freighting it with meaning and danger.

For the novel's protagonist, Giovanna, her lying life begins the moment she overhears her father — cheerful, courteous, beloved — calling her ugly. Her sense of self is overthrown:

"Does September make you do things you don't want to do?" a teacher asks July of her older sister in Daisy Johnson's chilly little sliver of a novel, Sisters. "And I said no no no no but underneath the no there was a maybe ..."

When the book opens, July, September, and their mother Sheela are living by the Yorkshire coast in a "rankled, bentouttashape, dirtyallover" house "only just out of the sea." They are in exile after an unexplained accident at school: "[S]omething happened that day at the tennis courts. Something happened we cannot remember."

In her 2019 resignation speech, then-congresswoman Katie Hill said: "I am leaving because of a misogynistic culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures, capitalized on my sexuality and enabled my abusive ex to continue that abuse, this time with the entire country watching."

She also could have said: I am leaving because I had an affair with a subordinate. Both statements would have been true.

I think about her when I'm getting into a strange car, or meeting a source alone. I think about her when I'm flying to a new part of the world, when I take an assignment on spec, when a story seems too good to be true. Like most reporters, I would have gotten on the submarine. That is the whole point of this job, this embattled, brittle, irreplaceable profession: the way it offers access to invisible worlds, right down to the bottom of the sea.

From the outside, Melania Trump looks like a woman in over her tastefully balayaged head. At public events, she rarely speaks, but assumes the rictus smolder — like a model who has just spotted a lion over the photographer's shoulder — that inspired a thousand #freemelania signs.

With her Hunger Games novels, Suzanne Collins harnessed a combination of twisty plots, teen romance, dystopian worldbuilding and subtle intimations of cannibalism to sell more than 100 million books around the world.

In her memoir Living History, Hillary Clinton introduces her husband, Bill Clinton, as "the person who would cause my life to spin in directions that I could never have imagined."

Is it me, or does the word "spin" conjure a car spinning off the road?

Curtis Sittenfeld's new novel, Rodham, imagines what would have happened if she had righted the wheel. Rodham is a nauseating, moving, morally suggestive, technically brilliant book that made me think more than any other in recent memory about the aims and limits of fiction.

"If the world was about to end was there anything she should be doing?" wonders Kathy, the languid protagonist of Olivia Laing's novel Crudo, set in the tense, airless summer of 2017.

Kathy and her contemporaries — the kind of bohemians who go to art fairs and take turns writing each other up in glossy magazines — exist in a state of malaise induced by the constant, passive receipt of half-understood bad news (see also: Twitter). It was all happening — Donald Trump, Brexit, climate change, the migrant crisis — but none of it was quite happening to them.

Mark O'Connell's new book about the end of the world is not called Notes from the Apocalypse, but rather Notes From an Apocalypse — a gesture of articular modesty that points to a larger truth: Despite the climate crisis, despite a global pandemic, it has always been "the end of the world for someone, somewhere."

Like William Faulker's As I Lay Dying, C Pam Zhang's debut novel opens with a body in need of burying.

In How Much of These Hills is Gold, Lucy and Sam, 12 and 11, children of Chinese laborers, take their father's body on a journey through the California hills in the middle of the Gold Rush. The quest for burial, the family strife, the smell of death, the hot sun, the dust, the storms, all recall Faulker. Ba (Mandarin for "dad") haunts the narrative as Addie Bundren did, first as voice and then ultimately as a corpse, awful, unwieldy, and decomposing.

"This story begins with the Adderall," opens Casey Schwartz's Attention: A Love Story. In 2000, Schwartz was in college, struggling to write an essay, when a friend offered her a pill "the deep bright blue of a cartoon sky" and her hand "shot out to receive it."

Here already are the seeds of what is coming: It is not "Adderall" but "the Adderall," not the serviceable "take" or "grab" but the sacramental "receive."

White House memoirs generally fall into two categories: Me, I was there! and Hey, it wasn't my fault!

ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl's new book, Front Row at the Trump Show, is in the former.

Karl's book tells of how he first met Trump when he was working as a New York Post reporter: "I was a cub reporter for a New York tabloid. He was a flamboyant real estate developer with a scandalous personal life." (To quote Avril Lavigne, "Can I make it any more obvious?")

In her now famous essay, "Men Explain Things to Me," Rebecca Solnit describes a party in a ski chalet, at which she told the owner of the chalet that she had just written a book about the photographer Eadweard Muybridge.

"And have you heard about the very important Muybridge book that came out this year?" he asked. The man then held forth about this book for several minutes before Solnit realized he was talking about her book. When this fact is finally, effortfully, conveyed to him, he went "ashen."

"Every three hundred years or so, our kind gets loosed upon an unsuspecting world. And this time around, the history books would know us as the 1989 Danvers High School Women's Varsity Field Hockey Team."

At the beginning of Quan Barry's charming teen witchcraft-slash-field-hockey novel We Ride Upon Sticks, the Danvers team is remarkable only for the frequency of their losses. They are like the Bad News Bears, with the caveat that "even though up until now we were reliably pretty terrible, nobody would ever say our hearts were in the right place."

President Warren G. Harding once urged the American people to "strive for production as Babe Ruth strives for home runs."

In Gish Jen's inventive but muddled dystopian novel The Resisters, production is no longer the problem, though home runs are still in demand. In the country Jen calls "AutoAmerica," AI and automation have created such a glut of stuff that the underclasses exist to consume — "[n]ot that charges of underconsumption couldn't be fought in the courts," Jen writes. "This was AutoAmerica, after all."

"The Russian language has an especially rich word for a person skilled in the act of compromise and adaptation, who intuitively understands what is expected of him and adjusts his beliefs and conduct accordingly: prisposoblenets," writes Joshua Yaffa in his new book, Between Two Fires, a portrait of the Russian state through those who have decided to compromise with it.

Editor's note: This review contains explicit accusations from Catch and Kill that some readers may find upsetting.

"If NBC, which has the evidence, doesn't go forward with this story, it's a scandal."

That was what Ken Auletta, a writer for The New Yorker who had tried and failed to break the story of Harvey Weinstein's alleged serial sexual abuse of women, said when he found out that Ronan Farrow had obtained tape of Weinstein admitting to groping the model Ambra Gutierrez.

The oil and gas industry, according to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, is "ranging like a ravenous predator on the field of democracy." It is "Godzilla over downtown Tokyo." It is "the richest, most powerful, and most destructive industry on the globe."

In an essay on race and memory, Toni Morrison wrote of "the stress of remembering, its inevitability, [but] the chances for liberation that lie within the process." Ta-Nehisi Coates' new novel, The Water Dancer, is an experiment in taking Morrison's "chances for liberation" literally: What if memory had the power to transport enslaved people to freedom?

Editor's note: This review includes graphic descriptions.

Her name is Chanel Miller.

For four years, she has been known publicly as Emily Doe, "an unconscious woman" or simply "Brock Turner's victim." In her memoir Know My Name, she wants to set the record straight: "I am a victim, I have no qualms with this word, only with the idea that it is all that I am," she writes. "However, I am not Brock Turner's victim. I am not his anything."

Dwight Eisenhower "became president by winning the war in the European theater," writes James Poniewozik in his new book Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America. "Donald Trump became president by winning the 9 p.m. time slot on NBC."

But Trump isn't just on TV, according to Poniewozik. He is TV. Over the course of his life, Trump "achieved symbiosis with the medium," he argues. "Its impulses were his impulses; its appetites were his appetites; its mentality was his mentality."

They wore parkas to meetings, or two pairs of tights. They traveled in pairs. They feigned phone calls and hid in bathrooms. They said no. They changed careers, or industries. They accepted settlements, thinking it was the most justice they were ever likely to see.

Many women who worked with Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein say that they waged desperate tactical battles to escape his alleged sexual predation without upending their own lives.

Given enough information about online behavior, a computer can guess someone's personality traits better than a friend, parent, or even a spouse, according to a 2015 study from researchers at Stanford and Cambridge.

Overthrow, a perceptive (if overlong) new novel by Caleb Crain, unpicks this new reality: Its protagonists want to not only destroy the digital surveillance apparatus, but to see if it is possible to know each other better than the machines do.

If Jess Row, born in 1974, received a legacy from the white writers of the 20th century, it was one of "silences, defensive postures, lacunae, conscious and unconscious self-limitations" on the subject of race.

But that doesn't mean race is absent from their work, as he notes in his new book White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination: "even writers who would seem to have almost nothing to say about race...are saying a great deal."

In 1997, Emily Nussbaum was a doctoral student at NYU, studying literature and "foggily planning on becoming a professor," when an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed her life.

At the turn of this century, television was still considered unserious, "a disposable product, like a Dixie Cup," Nussbaum writes. It was also bad for you — in "the much-quoted (although possibly apocryphal) words of '90s comic Bill Hicks," it was "a spiritually harmful act, like 'taking black spray paint to your third eye.' "

As the most visible reporter to regularly spar with the president, CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta is a disputed icon.

President Trump has called Acosta a "rude, terrible person" and "fake news." To many on the right, he represents deep media bias; to some on the left, he represents media pushback against Trump's frequent lies. In his daily life, he is subject to near-constant abuse, insults and threats — along with some praise and a lot of selfie requests.