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Annalisa Quinn

Annalisa Quinn is a contributing writer, reporter, and literary critic for NPR. She created NPR's Book News column and covers literature and culture for NPR.

Quinn studied English and Classics at Georgetown University and holds an M.Phil in Classical Greek from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Cambridge Trust scholar.

President Warren G. Harding once urged the American people to "strive for production as Babe Ruth strives for home runs."

In Gish Jen's inventive but muddled dystopian novel The Resisters, production is no longer the problem, though home runs are still in demand. In the country Jen calls "AutoAmerica," AI and automation have created such a glut of stuff that the underclasses exist to consume — "[n]ot that charges of underconsumption couldn't be fought in the courts," Jen writes. "This was AutoAmerica, after all."

"The Russian language has an especially rich word for a person skilled in the act of compromise and adaptation, who intuitively understands what is expected of him and adjusts his beliefs and conduct accordingly: prisposoblenets," writes Joshua Yaffa in his new book, Between Two Fires, a portrait of the Russian state through those who have decided to compromise with it.

Editor's note: This review contains explicit accusations from Catch and Kill that some readers may find upsetting.

"If NBC, which has the evidence, doesn't go forward with this story, it's a scandal."

That was what Ken Auletta, a writer for The New Yorker who had tried and failed to break the story of Harvey Weinstein's alleged serial sexual abuse of women, said when he found out that Ronan Farrow had obtained tape of Weinstein admitting to groping the model Ambra Gutierrez.

The oil and gas industry, according to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, is "ranging like a ravenous predator on the field of democracy." It is "Godzilla over downtown Tokyo." It is "the richest, most powerful, and most destructive industry on the globe."

In an essay on race and memory, Toni Morrison wrote of "the stress of remembering, its inevitability, [but] the chances for liberation that lie within the process." Ta-Nehisi Coates' new novel, The Water Dancer, is an experiment in taking Morrison's "chances for liberation" literally: What if memory had the power to transport enslaved people to freedom?

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