Emily St. John Mandel
Selected essays and reviews, updated sporadically:

The Year of Numbered Rooms: Notes from the Station Eleven tour.
The year before you were born, my love, I traveled constantly. It was sometimes magnificent and sometimes numbing. I was very tired, but there were moments of grace. Humanities

The Gone Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on the Train: Why Do So Many Books Have 'Girl' in the Title?
Spoiler alert: I have no idea why so many books have 'girl' in the title. But some of the numbers are fascinating. FiveThirtyEight

Notes on Regarding Susan Sontag
Sontag once wrote, "What makes me feel strong: being in love, and work." All she wanted was everything. Humanities

You'll Probably Never Catch Ebola - So Why is the Disease so Terrifying?
Sixteen centuries after the Antonine Plague, Captain George Vancouver and his crew became increasingly disconcerted as they sailed up the coast of what would later become Canada. The land seemed strangely empty. The New Republic

A Closed World: On By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
By Grand Central Station is a staggering accomplishment, an exquisite and often ecstatic rendition of a tumultuous affair: "Jupiter has been with Leda, I thought, and now nothing can avert the Trojan wars. All legend will be broken, but who will escape alive?" The Millions

The Bulldozing Powers of Cheap
On the novelist and former textile manufacturer Edoardo Nesi's Story of My People, clothes as armour, and the unspeakable cost of cheap fashion. The Millions

I Await The Devil's Friend Request: On Social Media and Mary MacLane
We live in a performative age. What participation in social media comes down to, I think, is that either you have an instinct for broadcasting your life, or you don't. Mary MacLane would have been a natural. The Millions

Drinking at the End of the World: Lars Iyer's Exodus
Enduring the everyday is relatively straightforward--just keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other--but how to transcend the everyday, in this world neither you nor I have made? The Millions

Strange Long Dream: Justin Cronin's The Twelve
On Justin Cronin's The Twelve. The Millions

Susanna Moore, Cheryl Strayed, and the Place Where the Writers Work
This was the Midwestern tour: five cities in five days, condensed in such a manner so that I'd only have to take three days off from my day job. The stars were so bright as I was leaving Minneapolis. The Millions

Eating Dirt: On Charlotte Gill and the Life of the Treeplanter
"We gave the trees some small purchase in the world," Gill writes, "and they gave us the same in return." The Millions

The _____'s Daughter
Seriously, once you start noticing these books, they're everywhere. Presented with graphs, also pie charts.The Millions

Irene Némirovsky, Suite Francaise, and The Mirador
Notes on the French novelist Irene Némirovsky, her "violent masterpiece" Suite Francaise, and the imaginary memoir written by her daughter. The Millions

The Second Life of Irmgard Keun
The German novelist Irmgard Keun's life was the stuff of fiction: she was a best-selling debut novelist at twenty-six, published a second bestseller a year later, was blacklisted by the Nazi regime and in exile by the spring of 1936. The Millions

On Bad Reviews
Given all the years you spent writing your book or composing your music or perfecting your play before someone came along and spat on it, it's extraordinarily difficult to respond to a bad review with grace. The Millions

In memoriam: on my magnificent first agent, Emilie Jacobson of Curtis Brown. The Millions