Book Review: The Vanishers

The Vanishers: A Novel by Heidi Julavits (New York: Doubleday, 2012. 304 pp) Born and raised in Portland, Maine, Heidi Julavits attended Dartmouth College and earned an M.F.A from Columbia University. Julavits co-edits The Believer magazine. She has authored four novels: The Mineral Palace, The Effect of Living Backwards, The Uses of Enchantment, and The Vanishers. Julavits lives in Manhattan with her husband, writer Ben Marcus, and their children. Hell is Other People Jean-Paul Sartre famously said, “Hell is other people.” To him, a relationship with others creates, sustains, and empowers dissidence. To a certain extent, then, isolation emerges as a virtue. But do we actually enjoy existence in the prison of our thoughts? With The Vanishers, Heidi Julavits suggests… Read More →

Book Review: The Lifespan of a Fact

The Lifespan of a Fact by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. 128 pp John D’Agata is the author of About a Mountain and Halls of Fame, and editor of The Next American Essay and The Lost Origins of the Essay. He teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he lives. Jim Fingal worked for several years as a fact-checker at The Believer and McSweeney’s, where he worked on the titles What Is the What, Surviving Justice, Voices from the Storm, and others. He currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he designs software. Evaluating Truth Recently, I engaged in an existential debate regarding the meaning of book evaluation. My… Read More →