I had many problems with Purity, Jonathan Franzen’s new novel. The book had me hooked and turning pages from the first. There’s plenty of intrigue–a murder; the mystery of the title character’s parentage; unfolding backstories that link assorted melodramatic subplots, far-flung over geography and time. But to a large degree I was racing through it […]
In light of the recent measles outbreak in California, I want to share this interview with Eula Biss, author of On Immunity. After the birth of her first child, Biss’ research turned to vaccination, and she ruminated on a culture in which no man, woman or child is an island. Michael Schulson interviewed Biss at Salon.
“What the fuck is a selfie?” said Miss Sheryl. “When a stupid person with a smartphone flicks themselves and looks at it,” I said to the room. She replied with a raised eyebrow, “Oh?” It’s amazing how the news seems so instant to most from my generation with our iPhones, Wi-Fi, tablets and iPads, but […]
Experiencing firsthand the boredom that overtakes the courtroom during the perjury retrial of the seven-time Cy Young winner: As far as jury duty goes, you might think the perjury trial of the most decorated pitcher in baseball history would be the kind of blockbuster assignment you tell your grandchildren about. But if you’re enough of […]
When do we really die? Is it when the heart stops—or is there a certain point that brain death means actual death? As we make advances in medicine, it’s raising new questions about what’s final. An excerpt from Teresi’s new book, The Undead: Michael DeVita of the University of Pittsburgh recalls making the rounds at […]
How an unplanned pregnancy during college changed the life and worldview of Maggie Gallagher, now one of the leading voices against gay marriage: On a mild November day, Gallagher and I are upstairs at City Bakery, near Union Square in Manhattan, where after months of requests she has agreed to meet me. As Gallagher tells […]