What’s in a joke? Jim Holt finds out.
How a bumbling immigrant from Kiev became a literary sensation
What we’re reading—and rereading—this season
Esther David’s novels chronicle a community of Jews in a province riddled with ethnic violence
A murky homeland is hard to stand by
What happens when a German provocateur turns to the subject of love?
David Benioff takes the buddy novel to wartime Leningrad
In his new novel, Aleksandar Hemon unearths the misfortunes of a Chicago immigrant
How comedians of the 1960s and ’70s revolutionized stand-up
A literary—but none-too-sad—Keith Gessen talks about his new novel
What happens when your inheritance includes a life-threatening genetic mutation?
Thomas Roma photographs Brooklyn’s synagogues past and present
Two trips to Poland offer very different impressions for the daughter of a Holocaust survivor
Howard Jacobson swore he wouldn’t write another Jewish novel. What happened?
Giving lessons in Hebrew nuance to a bunch of suits from Hollywood
A young critic weighs in on three new novels
Daniel Smith explores the history of the phenomenon—from the Bible to his father
Dalia Sofer depicts one family’s fearful and bittersweet days in revolutionary Iran
Michael Chabon’s new novel depicts a frozen homeland where beat cops speak Yiddish, snack on blintzes, and chase Hasidic gangsters
Nathan Englander unearths stories that many in Argentina would just as soon forget
A novelist returns to Buenos Aires, the place he’s been imagining for nearly a decade
Alix Kates Shulman on the creation of an ex-prom queen and protofeminist
Andre Aciman takes up the motifs explored in his memoir—desire, home, and memory—in a steamy debut novel, Call Me by Your Name.
Growing up Jake Fuchs thought of his father as a screenwriter. At 12, he discovered otherwise.
Are Jennifer Weiner’s novels bestsellers because
Shira Nayman’s characters chase the ghosts who haunt them
A chess amateur shows how the game has mesmerized through the ages
In The Lost, Daniel Mendelsohn excavates some unsettling truths about brotherhood, betrayal, and the Book of Genesis.