Entries by Jason Sullivan

The Silence by Don DeLillo

Illusory though it is, there’s an endorphin-rush moment when you begin a novel that feels as though it was written just for you. The story’s arc is almost irrelevant. What blows your hair back are the observations in sentences that seem perfectly formed. It’s as if your limbic system has been waiting for this moment. […]

The Standardization of Demoralization Procedures by Jennifer Hofmann

East Berlin, early November 1989. Protestors seeking political reforms thrum the city. You can feel it: The old communist order is falling apart. And so is Bernd Zeiger, Stasi officer. While you and I know that the Berlin Wall is set to topple, the characters in Jennifer Hofmann’s excellent debut novel The Standardization of Demoralization […]

The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States by Walter Johnson

History runs through St. Louis like a current. It’s downtown as tourists spill around the Old Federal Courthouse—where the infamous Dred Scott case began—on their way to the glinting Gateway Arch, the national monument to Western Expansion, to empire. It flows westward to Forest Park, site of the 1904 World’s Fair, and through the architectural […]