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The Novel I Will Never Write: A Screed by Gabe Cohen

The protagonist of the novel I will never write is kind of like me. Except more articulate. And cleverer. And a bit more handsome....

Timeout on the Winter Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has a problem. With Stockholm, Krakow, Lviv, and now Oslo pulling out of the running to host the 2022...

Going Back to Denmark: Landscape and Memory

1.   Denmark has a sense of smallness, of boundedness. That was my initial impression as an American returning to a childhood home after forty...

Love in a Cup

“I’ll have a chai,” I say. “You mean a chai tea latte?” my barista asks. There is a long, uncomfortable pause that she doesn’t seem to...

City of Widows

In the month of July, when both heat and humidity are at their peak in the holy city of Vrindavan in north India, thousands of devotees stream in to offer prayers to their Lord Krishna on a day that is among the most auspicious in the year.

Diastema: The Spaces Between

I’ve had a sizable gap between my two front teeth for my entire life, and for most of it, I’ve wanted to get rid...

Lucky Jews

Few Jews now live in Poland, but their existence as hand-carved miniatures rolls on. Erica Lehrer explores the cultural dimensions of these figurines.

Allen Ginsberg: An Encounter

When I interviewed Allen Ginsberg I said something right off that startled him, though what I said was simple and not raunchy in the least, as if raunchy would ever affront a poet who liked saying, "Why don't we get right down to the cunt of the matter?"


What a privilege it must be for people to be able to identify you, to place you correctly in the American mosaic with just...

The Fatwa on Chess

  Saudi Arabia's leading religious authority, Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, last week put a fatwa on chess in advance of a tournament scheduled to be...

Congo: the Story of One Family’s Endurance

The tragedies in the Congo brought to focus in the most personal, human way

Reading Sontag When Life is Sci-Fi

I’ve never been able to read much non-fiction, always lamented my impatience for it. And yet now I find I’m unable to put down...