March 6th, 2020

On our Front Table this week, explore the implications of digital culture, from the significance of hidden data, to the ways in which African American identity has shaped and been shaped by the internet. Find the following titles and more at

On Shirley Hazzard (Catapult Books)
Michelle de Kretser

On Shirley Hazzard is a vibrant and personal tribute in which the Miles...

Front Table
March 2nd, 2020
On our Front Table this week, reevaluate influential figures with an intellectual biography of a psychoanalytic theorist, new editions of classics in sociology and cultural criticism, and new archival evidence on a master of modern choreography. Find the following titles and more at

Die, My Love (Charco Press)
Ariana Harwicz, tr. Sarah Moses and Carolina Orloff
In a forgotten patch of French countryside, a woman is battling her demons: embracing exclusion yet wanting to...
Front Table
March 1st, 2020

From our nation’s highest office to the uncharted territories of political formalism, we trust in books to take us in and out of the bookstore on this episode of Open Stacks, with journalist and historian Craig Fehrman on presidential authorship and literary theorist Anna Kornbluh on the future of social space and the novels on which it stands. Plus, booksellers off the clock, and what’s not to like about ...

Open Stacks Podcast
February 23rd, 2020

On our Front Table this week, art and politics intersect to imagine new futures, with an argument that literary formalisms model social possibilities, an exemplar and an analysis of the capacities of photography to intervene in crises of racial justice, an exploration of art  as a discharge of psychic drives that can create new worlds, and a synthesis of scientific research and experimental fiction aimed at avoiding apocalypse. Find the following titles and more at ...

Front Table
February 20th, 2020

As the novel developed into a mature genre, it had to distinguish itself from these similar-looking books and become what we now call "literature." Literary scholars have explained the rise of the Anglophone novel using a range of tools, from Ian Watt’s theories to James Watt’s inventions. Contrary to established narratives, When Novels Were Books reveals that the genre beloved of so many readers today was not born secular, national, middle-class, or female. For the first three centuries of their history, novels came into readers’ hands primarily as printed sheets ordered into a codex bound along one edge between boards or paper wrappers....

February 20th, 2020


Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino 

This book is like tumbling through a lovely, vivid dream. Each city is gorgeous and thought-provoking and tantalizingly ephemeral. Read this book to dance among the stars while curled up in your chair.

Life of Galileo, Bertolt Brecht

Brecht's words dazzle and enthrall but also deeply affect in this play about faith and science. Galileo the man is made familiar and human as he resists the silencing hand of the Catholic church, pleading with...

In Other Words
February 16th, 2020

On our Front Table this week, find reactions to the disenchantment of the modern world, from a magical realist meditation on Baudelaire, to an account of the popularity of fantasy literature. Also explore new terrains in class and racial struggle, from Hollywood's reactionary record to the battle over sleep. Find the following titles and more at ...

Front Table
February 16th, 2020

On this episode of Open Stacks, Professor of Music Berthold Hoeckner spins a record of cultural memory made audible in films focused on the past, from Casablanca...

Open Stacks Podcast
February 9th, 2020

On our Front Table this week, challenge received narratives with a decolonizing travel guide, a case for the importance of Spenser contra Milton, and revisions to the history of school desegregation. Find the following titles and more at


Front Table
February 3rd, 2020

On our Front Table this week, find new forms of fulfillment, from an argument that economic stagnation is a harbinger of post-industrial labor and well-being, to an exploration of the ways that mathematics satisfies drives for play, beauty, and freedom.

Fully Grown: Why a Stagnant Economy is a Sign of Success
(University of Chicago Press)
Dietrich Vollrath

Most economists would agree that a thriving economy is synonymous with GDP growth. This means that our current era, in which growth has slowed substantially from its postwar highs, has raised alarm bells...

Front Table