Issue 16.5

27 June, 2011

Yasmine Seale

To Crack the Heart

Hisham Matar's Anatomy of a Disappearance imagines the life of the son of a vanished dissident.

Alexandra Manglis

Undying Task

Stanley Cavell reveals himself in the interruptions of his autobiography Little Did I Know.

Louise Weston

The Near-Miracle of Detailed Understanding

Peter Atkins deploys scientific explanation to displace religious sentiment in our understanding of life and the universe.

Mike Jakeman

Something Better than Empire

Sam Lipsyte's The Ask and Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story interrogate contemporary America's self-image.

Tom Cutterham

Unrealistic Innocence

Roland Barthes's The Preparation of the Novel hesitates on the verge of beginning to write.