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The Best Reviewed Essay Collections of 2022

Featuring bob dylan, elena ferrante, zora neale hurston, jhumpa lahiri, melissa febos, and more.

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We’ve come to the end of another bountiful literary year, and for all of us review rabbits here at Book Marks, that can mean only one thing: basic math, and lots of it.

Yes, using reviews drawn from more than 150 publications, over the next two weeks we’ll be calculating and revealing the most critically-acclaimed books of 2022, in the categories of (deep breath): Fiction ; Nonfiction ; Memoir and Biography ; Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror ; Short Story Collections ; Essay Collections; Poetry; Mystery and Crime ; Graphic Literature ; and Literature in Translation .

Today’s installment: Essay Collections .

Brought to you by Book Marks , Lit Hub’s “Rotten Tomatoes for books.”

1. In the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing  by Elena Ferrante (Europa)

12 Rave • 12 Positive • 4 Mixed

“The lucid, well-formed essays that make up In the Margins  are written in an equally captivating voice … Although a slim collection, there is more than enough meat here to nourish both the common reader and the Ferrante aficionado … Every essay here is a blend of deep thought, rigorous analysis and graceful prose. We occasionally get the odd glimpse of the author…but mainly the focus is on the nuts and bolts of writing and Ferrante’s practice of her craft. The essays are at their most rewarding when Ferrante discusses the origins of her books, in particular the celebrated Neapolitan Novels, and the multifaceted heroines that power them … These essays might not bring us any closer to finding out who Ferrante really is. Instead, though, they provide valuable insight into how she developed as a writer and how she works her magic.”

–Malcolm Forbes ( The Star Tribune )

2. Translating Myself and Others by Jhumpa Lahiri (Princeton University Press)

8 Rave • 14 Positive • 1 Mixed

“Lahiri mixes detailed explorations of craft with broader reflections on her own artistic life, as well as the ‘essential aesthetic and political mission’ of translation. She is excellent in all three modes—so excellent, in fact, that I, a translator myself, could barely read this book. I kept putting it aside, compelled by Lahiri’s writing to go sit at my desk and translate … One of Lahiri’s great gifts as an essayist is her ability to braid multiple ways of thinking together, often in startling ways … a reminder, no matter your relationship to translation, of how alive language itself can be. In her essays as in her fiction, Lahiri is a writer of great, quiet elegance; her sentences seem simple even when they’re complex. Their beauty and clarity alone would be enough to wake readers up. ‘Look,’ her essays seem to say: Look how much there is for us to wake up to.”

–Lily Meyer ( NPR )

3. The Philosophy of Modern Song by Bob Dylan (Simon & Schuster)

10 Rave • 15 Positive • 7 Mixed • 4 Pan

“It is filled with songs and hyperbole and views on love and lust even darker than Blood on the Tracks … There are 66 songs discussed here … Only four are by women, which is ridiculous, but he never asked us … Nothing is proved, but everything is experienced—one really weird and brilliant person’s experience, someone who changed the world many times … Part of the pleasure of the book, even exceeding the delectable Chronicles: Volume One , is that you feel liberated from Being Bob Dylan. He’s not telling you what you got wrong about him. The prose is so vivid and fecund, it was useless to underline, because I just would have underlined the whole book. Dylan’s pulpy, noir imagination is not always for the squeamish. If your idea of art is affirmation of acceptable values, Bob Dylan doesn’t need you … The writing here is at turns vivid, hilarious, and will awaken you to songs you thought you knew … The prose brims everywhere you turn. It is almost disturbing. Bob Dylan got his Nobel and all the other accolades, and now he’s doing my job, and he’s so damn good at it.”

–David Yaffe ( AirMail )

4.  Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative by Melissa Febos (Catapult)

13 Rave • 2 Positive • 2 Mixed Read an excerpt from Body Work here

“In her new book, Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative , memoirist Melissa Febos handily recuperates the art of writing the self from some of the most common biases against it: that the memoir is a lesser form than the novel. That trauma narratives should somehow be over—we’ve had our fill … Febos rejects these belittlements with eloquence … In its hybridity, this book formalizes one of Febos’s central tenets within it: that there is no disentangling craft from the personal, just as there is no disentangling the personal from the political. It’s a memoir of a life indelibly changed by literary practice and the rigorous integrity demanded of it …

Febos is an essayist of grace and terrific precision, her sentences meticulously sculpted, her paragraphs shapely and compressed … what’s fresh, of course, is Febos herself, remapping this terrain through her context, her life and writing, her unusual combinations of sources (William H. Gass meets Elissa Washuta, for example), her painstaking exactitude and unflappable sureness—and the new readers she will reach with all of this.”

–Megan Milks ( 4Columns )

5. You Don’t Know Us Negroes by Zora Neale Hurston (Amistad)

12 Rave • 3 Positive • 1 Mixed

“… a dazzling collection of her work … You Don’t Know Us Negroes reveals Hurston at the top of her game as an essayist, cultural critic, anthropologist and beat reporter … Hurston is, by turn, provocative, funny, bawdy, informative and outrageous … Hurston will make you laugh but also make you remember the bitter divide in Black America around performance, language, education and class … But the surprising page turner is at the back of the book, a compilation of Hurston’s coverage of the Ruby McCollom murder trial …

Some of Hurston’s writing is sensationalistic, to be sure, but it’s also a riveting take of gender and race relations at the time … Gates and West have put together a comprehensive collection that lets Hurston shine as a writer, a storyteller and an American iconoclast.”

–Lisa Page ( The Washington Post )

Strangers to Ourselves

6. Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us by Rachel Aviv (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

11 Rave • 4 Positive • 2 Mixed Listen to an interview with Rachel Aviv here

“… written with an astonishing amount of attention and care … Aviv’s triumphs in relating these journeys are many: her unerring narrative instinct, the breadth of context brought to each story, her meticulous reporting. Chief among these is her empathy, which never gives way to pity or sentimentality. She respects her subjects, and so centers their dignity without indulging in the geeky, condescending tone of fascination that can characterize psychologists’ accounts of their patients’ troubles. Though deeply curious about each subject, Aviv doesn’t treat them as anomalous or strange … Aviv’s daunted respect for uncertainty is what makes Strangers to Ourselves distinctive. She is hyperaware of just how sensitive the scale of the self can be.”

–Charlotte Shane ( Bookforum )

7. A Line in the World: A Year on the North Sea Coast by Dorthe Nors (Graywolf)

11 Rave • 1 Positive Read an excerpt from A Line in the World here

“Nors, known primarily as a fiction writer, here embarks on a languorous and evocative tour of her native Denmark … The dramas of the past are evoked not so much through individual characters as through their traces—buildings, ruins, shipwrecks—and this westerly Denmark is less the land of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales and sleek Georg Jensen designs than a place of ancient landscapes steeped in myth … People aren’t wholly incidental to the narrative. Nors introduces us to a variety of colorful characters, and shares vivid memories of her family’s time in a cabin on the coast south of Thyborøn. But in a way that recalls the work of Barry Lopez, nature is at the heart of this beautiful book, framed in essay-like chapters, superbly translated by Caroline Waight.”

–Claire Messud ( Harper’s )

8. Raising Raffi: The First Five Years by Keith Gessen (Viking)

4 Rave • 10 Positive • 1 Mixed Read an excerpt from Raising Raffi here

“A wise, mild and enviably lucid book about a chaotic scene … Is it OK to out your kid like this? … Still, this memoir will seem like a better idea if, a few decades from now, Raffi is happy and healthy and can read it aloud to his own kids while chuckling at what a little miscreant he was … Gessen is a wily parser of children’s literature … He is just as good on parenting manuals … Raising Raffi offers glimpses of what it’s like to eke out literary lives at the intersection of the Trump and Biden administrations … Needing money for one’s children, throughout history, has made parents do desperate things — even write revealing parenthood memoirs … Gessen’s short book is absorbing not because it delivers answers … It’s absorbing because Gessen is a calm and observant writer…who raises, and struggles with, the right questions about himself and the world.”

–Dwight Garner ( The New York Times )

9. The Crane Wife by CJ Hauser (Doubleday)

8 Rave • 4 Positive • 2 Mixed • 1 Pan Watch an interview with CJ Hauser here

“17 brilliant pieces … This tumbling, in and out of love, structures the collection … Calling Hauser ‘honest’ and ‘vulnerable’ feels inadequate. She embraces and even celebrates her flaws, and she revels in being a provocateur … It is an irony that Hauser, a strong, smart, capable woman, relates to the crane wife’s contortions. She felt helpless in her own romantic relationship. I don’t have one female friend who has not felt some version of this, but putting it into words is risky … this collection is not about neat, happy endings. It’s a constant search for self-discovery … Much has been written on the themes Hauser excavates here, yet her perspective is singular, startlingly so. Many narratives still position finding the perfect match as a measure of whether we’ve led successful lives. The Crane Wife dispenses with that. For that reason, Hauser’s worldview feels fresh and even radical.”

–Hope Reese ( Oprah Daily )

10. How to Read Now by Elaine Castillo (Viking)

8 Rave • 2 Positive • 1 Mixed Read an excerpt from How to Read Now here

“Elaine Castillo’s How to Read Now begins with a section called ‘Author’s Note, or a Virgo Clarifies Things.’ The title is a neat encapsulation of the book’s style: rigorous but still chatty, intellectual but not precious or academic about it … How to Read Now proceeds at a breakneck pace. Each of the book’s eight essays burns bright and hot from start to finish … How to Read Now is not for everybody, but if it is for you, it is clarifying and bracing. Castillo offers a full-throated critique of some of the literary world’s most insipid and self-serving ideas …

So how should we read now? Castillo offers suggestions but no resolution. She is less interested in capital-A Answers…and more excited by the opportunity to restore a multitude of voices and perspectives to the conversation … A book is nothing without a reader; this one is co-created by its recipients, re-created every time the page is turned anew. How to Read Now offers its audience the opportunity to look past the simplicity we’re all too often spoon-fed into order to restore ourselves to chaos and complexity—a way of seeing and reading that demands so much more of us but offers even more in return.”

–Zan Romanoff ( The Los Angeles Times )

Our System:

RAVE = 5 points • POSITIVE = 3 points • MIXED = 1 point • PAN = -5 points

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10 Best Books on Essay Writing (You Should Read Today)

Author: Rafal Reyzer

You can improve your essay writing skills with practice, repetition, and perusing books on essay writing, which are full of useful examples.  

While simply living life, observing your surroundings, and diving into classic essays can naturally hone your writing skills, sometimes a trusty guidebook can give you that extra edge. Interested in mastering the craft of essay writing? Dive into some of the best essay-writing manuals out there. If you dream of becoming a professional essay writer , it’s essential to grasp the nuances of structure, tone, and format. Not all gifted writers can craft an exemplary essay, after all. Recognizing the significance of essays, especially in college admissions, can elevate your approach. If you’re gearing up to write a compelling college admission essay , I’d recommend perusing my guide on crafting an outstanding essay .

“I hate writing, I love having written.” – Dorothy Parker

Here are 10 Books That Will Help You With Essay Writing:

1. a professor’s guide to writing essays: the no-nonsense plan for better writing by dr. jacob neumann.

This is the highest-rated book on the subject available on the market right now. It’s written for students at any level of education. The author uses an unorthodox approach, claiming that breaking essays down into different formats is unnecessary. It doesn’t matter if it’s a persuasive or a narrative essay – the difference is not in how you write, but rather in how you build your case . Length: 118 pages Published: 2016

2. College Essay Essentials: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Successful College Admissions Essay – by Ethan Sawyer

Every year, millions of high-schoolers scramble to achieve above-average GPAs and score well on the SAT , or in some cases, the ACT , or both. They also have to write a 650-word essay and find their way to their dream college. If you’re one of them, then make sure you read this concise book . Ethan Sawyer (The College Essay Guy), breaks the whole essay-writing process down into simple steps and shows you the way around the most common mistakes college applicants usually make. Length: 256 pages Published: 2016

3. The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need: A One-Stop Source for Every Writing Assignment by Susan Thurman

The institution of a grammar school is defunct, but it doesn’t mean you can ignore the basic rules that govern your language. If you’re writing an essay or a college paper , you better keep your grammar tight. Otherwise, your grades will drop dramatically because professors abhor simple grammar mistakes. By reading this little book , you’ll make sure your writing is pristine. Length: 192 pages Published: 2003

4. Escape Essay Hell!: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Narrative College Application Essays by Janine W. Robinson

A well-written essay has immense power. Not only that, it is the prerequisite to getting admitted to colleges and universities, but you also have to tackle a few essay questions in most, if not all exams you will ever take for career or academic advancement. For instance, when taking the LSAT to qualify for law school , the MCAT to get into med school , the DAT to pursue a degree in dentistry, or even the GRE or GMAT as the first step in earning a master’s degree. That is why this book is highly recommended to anyone navigating through the sea of higher learning. In this amusing book, Janine Robinson focuses mostly on writing narrative essays . She’s been helping college-bound students to tell unique stories for over a decade and you’ll benefit from her expert advice. The book contains 10 easy steps that you can follow as a blueprint for writing the best “slice of life” story ever told. Length: 76 pages Published: 2013

5. The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present by Phillip Lopate

This large volume is a necessary diversion from the subject of formal, highly constrained types of writing. It focuses only on the genre of the personal essay which is much more free-spirited, creative, and tongue-and-cheek-like. Phillip Lopate, himself an acclaimed essayist, gathers seventy of the best essays of this type and lets you draw timeless lessons from them. Length: 777 pages Published: 1995

6. The Best American Essays of the Century by Joyce Carol Oates

The art of the modern essay starts with Voltaire at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Since then, many a writer attempted to share their personal stories and philosophical musings in this free-flowing form. Americans are no different. In this anthology, Joyce Carol Oates shares some fantastic reads that you need to absorb if you want to become a highly skilled polemicist. Length: 624 pages Published: 2001

7. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser

On Writing Well is a classic writing guide that will open your eyes to the art of producing clear-cut copy. Zinsser approached the subject of writing with a warm, cheerful attitude that seeps through the pages of his masterpiece. Whether you want to describe places, communicate with editors, self-edit your copy, or avoid verbosity, this book will have the right answer for you. Length: 336 pages Published: 2016 (reprint edition)

8. How To Write Any High School Essay: The Essential Guide by Jesse Liebman

The previous titles I mentioned were mostly for “grown-up” writers, but the list wouldn’t be complete without a book for ambitious high-school students. Its length is appropriate, making it possible even for the most ADHD among us to get through it. It contains expert advice, easy-to-implement essay outlines , and tips on finding the best topics and supporting them with strong arguments. Length: 124 pages Published: 2017

9. Essential Writing Skills for College and Beyond by C.M. Gill

On average, after finishing high school or college, Americans read only around twelve books per year. This is a pity because books contain a wealth of information. People at the top of the socio-economic ladder read between forty and sixty books per year – and you should too! But reading is just one skill that gets neglected after college. Writing is the other one. By reading the “Essential Writing Skills” you’ll be able to crush all of your college writing assignments and use them throughout your life to sharpen your prose. Length: 250 Published: 2014

10. The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing by Margot Livesey

If you want to write, you first need to read some of the best essays ever written . Developing your style results from conversing with great minds and then borrowing from them to create something new. All great artists are inspired by someone. In Hidden Machinery, Margot Livesey shares her essays on what makes good fiction and a strong narrative. It’s a must-read for all aspiring writers. Length: 224 Published: 2017 How did you like this article? Are you going to read any of the books listed above? Can you recommend any other book that I should add to this list?

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Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building two companies, a digital marketer, and a content creator with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here , and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.

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How To Write Essays: 2nd edition

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  • Print length 176 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher How To Books
  • Publication date January 1, 2010
  • Grade level 7 - 9
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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ How To Books; 2nd edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 176 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1845283414
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1845283414
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 7 - 9
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.7 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.03 x 0.4 x 9.22 inches
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Picking books for an English EE

By red_hypergiant March 8, 2017 in Extended Essay

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Red_hypergiant.

So recently, I have finally decided upon my EE subject being English (A) - by the way, I'm in Lower sixth (1st year) - and I really need some help with coming up with some books to analyze/read. I've been hearing, especially around IB survival, that the top scorers tend to do the best with books that are less known and also more "mature?" or you could say classical, however, I only read very popular sort of young adult fiction books, so my knowledge of such books is very limited. For this reason, I would greatly appreciate if I could just have a few suggestions of books that would be very good for writing an EE on and I will hopefully be able to find them in my library!  Thank you very much in advance. 

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Deniz Yavuz

Deniz Yavuz

You can use Pride&Prejudice by Jane Austen or How to Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee! I can recommend you lots of books but it depends on your book taste so I think these ones are the bests:)

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You should do your research yourself. There are millions of books in the world. You should think of what interests you, and get digging. It's part of the EE writing process. And if you're not much into literature, maybe you shouldn't be writing an English A EE. 

16 hours ago, Gaby said: You should do your research yourself. There are millions of books in the world. You should think of what interests you, and get digging. It's part of the EE writing process. And if you're not much into literature, maybe you shouldn't be writing an English A EE.           

I understand where you're coming from, but I have my reasons for choosing to do it in English - one being the departments for all my HLs are awful and the chances of scoring an A in them are very unlikely (Chem, Bio and Econ). If I could, I would've then done it in History - which has a very good department in my school - and I also have a great interest in the subject, however, I haven't taken it as a subject before so the teachers have refused to allow me to do my EE on History. So actually, the suggestion to write my EE for English came from my EE coordinator himself - which I ended up taking as a last resort (I've been through a lot to come to this conclusion). Unfortunately, because I am not that passionate about reading (well comparatively), my knowledge of such is not that extensive, and so I was simply asking for a few suggestions. If you think otherwise, I have done some research for myself and come up with books such as "The picture of Dorian Gray", "The Handmaid's Tale" and I even thought of "1984", but like I said, I was looking for books that are less known but also interesting and worth writing about. I agree that I should be doing research for myself too (which I am), but a few simple suggestions really wouldn't do much harm, would it?

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The University of Texas at Austin

March 5, 2022 , Filed Under: Uncategorized

9 Best Essay Writing Service Sites on Reddit

What is the best essay writing service on Reddit? Adam Huler has the most verified positive reviews than any other service. The most common reasons Redditors rated Adam’s service so highly were:

1.   Affordability

2.   Able to meet deadlines

3.   Delivers high-quality work

Finding a great essay writing service can seem like a daunting task. Below is a complete guide to finding and using an essay writing service to turn in quality, original work.

How to Choose the Best Essay Writing Service on Reddit

  • You get what you pay for. Everyone wants the best quality work, but in this open market, the price of a great essay may be higher than you expect. Don’t expect to get quality work for than less than $15 per page.
  • Make sure they can cover a variety of topics. Skip the boutique services that focus on one subject. If you plan on using a service more than once, they should be able to handle all your needs. You want to stick with one writer, if possible so that the tone and style of your essays are consistent.
  • Ask for writing samples. If the site doesn’t have sample papers posted, ask for them! Just because a person promotes them self as a professional writer, that doesn’t always mean that their skills are up to par. You also want to ensure that your essay is written in such a way that it is consistent with your own style.
  • Communication is key. As you are reading reviews, look for comments highlighting the user’s experience communicating with the service. If there are any negatives in that area, move on. You don’t want to waste time with a service that doesn’t communicate well when you are in a time crunch.
  • Plagiarism reports are a must. Look for a service that runs their final drafts through a plagiarism checker before submitting the essay to you. You never want to submit an assignment that contains plagiarized content. A service that runs this check for you will always provide you with an original paper with properly cited sources.
  • Guaranteed work will be of higher quality. Look for a service that guarantees their work. If they don’t guarantee their work, then they may not have confidence in it. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t either.
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  • Free revisions are a plus. While not all services offer free revisions, it’s a huge plus if they do. If you receive your essay but feel a section is not as well developed as you think it should be, a free revision of that section could save you major dollars. Paying for a revision isn’t the worst thing in the world if it gets you what you’re looking for, but free is always better.

9 Best Essay Writing Service Reddit Recommendations

While there are hundreds of essay writing services out there, you obviously want to choose a service that comes highly rated. While I’ve already shared with you the best essay writing service reddit , there are others that also come highly recommended.

Listed below are 9 most frequently recommended best essay writing service sites mentioned on Reddit:

1. Huler1996.com

Huler1996.com touts his website as “the best essay writing service on Reddit.” This positive review from a customer of this service states that he received an excellent research paper well before the due date and for a very reasonable price. Another review from a customer that went to pay for essay on reddit service states that the initial contact after submitting an order was delayed, but ultimately got their paper before the deadline.

2. CrownedProWriters.com

CrownedProWriters.com There’s a limited number of testimonials available for this service, limited to one on Reddit and four on their homepage. They are all positive, so take that as you will. This Reddit review of Crowned Pro Writers says they were impressed with their consistent communication, quality of work, essay generator reddit, and good pricing structure. The testimonials on their homepage say that they provide timely and professional service and comprehensive and remarkable work.

3. Intelwriters.com

Intelwriters.com is another notable service mentioned in many ranking lists of top essay writing services. Again, their site provides testimonials, but I didn’t have any luck finding reviews outside of their site. I might try searching for the best essay writing service yahoo answers because they are only showing four and five-star reviews on this page.

4. GradeAcers.com

GradeAcers.com is another notable service mentioned in many ranking lists of top essay writing services. Again, their site provides reviews, but I didn’t have any luck finding reviews outside of their site. They are only showing four and five-star reviews on this page. A five-star review from “Christine” says that she got into her dream college based on the admissions essay they wrote for her. A four-star review from “William R.” says that he was able to get his essay on time and for a reasonable price. He also says that contacting their customer support was easy and available every time he needed them.

5. StudyZillas.com

StudyZillas.com is another option you could consider when looking for a paper writing service that you can pay to help with your paper. This essay writing website has the cheapest prices for their papers and they promise to send plagiarism reports for every completed. The service doesn’t have any reviews on Google and I haven’t seen anyone complain about the quality of the paper or support offered. Their writers are well trained in their chosen field of study which means you can easily put your faith in the way they treat your paper, no matter which academic discipline you’re from.

6. EssayTubi.com

EssayTubi.com comes up on the list as one of the best essay writing services around. They have many positive reviews regarding their services and the few negative reviews I found stated that their disputes were resolved. EssayTubi.com focuses in delivering outstanding academic reports on all possible subjects and are proud of their exceptional writing quality. This writing service’s promises to provide responsive customer support, professional writer, user-friendly policies, constant discounts, and absolute anonymity. They will need specific guidelines your professor wants used along with the task. This will enable their team of trusted writers to understand, answer, cope successfully with writing your research paper.

7. Power Writings

Power Writings is another notable service mentioned in many ranking lists of top essay writing services. Again, their site provides testimonials, but I didn’t have any luck finding reviews outside of their site. They are only showing four and five-star reviews on this page. A five-star review from “Christine” says that she got into her dream college based on the admissions essay they wrote for her. A four-star review from “William R.” says that he was able to get his essay on time and for a reasonable price. He also says that contacting their customer support was easy and available every time he needed them.

8. PaperHelp

PaperHelp had a lot of sources for reviews outside of their site. They really don’t suppress the good, the bad, or the ugly. However, their customer service tries to remedy negative reviews as much as possible. The rating site Trustpilot gives them an overall score of four stars out of five. One positive review from “Antony” states that he was skeptical at first because he’d never used a service like this before, but he chose this site because they have a “pay later” option. After receiving his essay back, he was very satisfied with it and paid in full. One negative review from “Mary Byrne” was disappointed with PaperHelp, stating that the essay was unusable as the writer was not a native English speaker.

9. ExpertWriting

ExpertWriting comes up frequently as well when looking for essay writing services. They also had reviews on sites other than their own, though not as many as PaperHelp. The site TopEssayServices.com gave ExpertWriting four out of five stars. A five-star review from “Stan” says they had “good prices and very friendly support.” A three-star review from “Edward” simply states “It took too long to get it ready.” The site essay websites gives ExpertWriting just under five stars out of five. 

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes —  Marcel Proust

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How I learned to make the most of summer reading

The leisurely season, I came to realize, offered me the freedom and time to delve into classics like “The Brothers Karamazov” and “Invisible Man.”

It’s hard to tell this story without sounding pretentious, but here goes. Not too long ago, I reached for my old copy of “The Brothers Karamazov.” (I wanted to refamiliarize myself with the Grand Inquisitor sequence.) Opening the pages, I was startled to see a tiny rivulet of sand spill out. I could be even more pretentious and call the moment Proustian, because in the next second, I was lofted back over a span of decades to the place where I first read that book.

It was a beach in Duck, N.C., where my mother liked to rent a house every summer. Like many other English people I’ve met, she welcomed unfiltered sunshine wherever she could find it, and I was happy to go along because, more than the ocean or the salt air, I was drawn to the emptiness, which I knew I would be able to fill with reading.

By then I’d ventured into some approximation of post-collegiate adulthood, and it had dawned on me that reading was no longer a thing the world rewarded. It had to be carried out on the bounce, on the sly, when the day’s drudgery was done or before it had begun. So a week at the beach was the kind of gift I was in no mood to squander. I can still see myself, collapsed in a folding chair beneath a rented beach umbrella. Every part of me is covered or lotioned up (half-English kids burn easy) except for my feet, which are buried in the sand. From time to time, I look up, stare at a sandpiper or a garland of kelp. If there’s no breeze to cool things down, I might get up and wade out in the water, execute a few halfhearted body surfs. Then it’s back to the chair.

I was in a family that valued the written word, which meant that nobody bothered me or expected me to do anything other than what I was doing. The hours didn’t so much fly by as condense into a tidal pool. And it was precisely because I’d been given this expanse of freedom that I couldn’t see spending it on what are normally called “summer books.” This wasn’t snobbery: I was a way-back lover of mysteries and thrillers, which I read and enjoyed throughout the year. But where else would I have the leisure to read, yes, “The Brothers Karamazov”? Or “The Magic Mountain,” “Invisible Man,” “Lord Jim,” “Wuthering Heights” or “Sense and Sensibility”?

It had to be summer because that was the only route to immersion. When I learned, for instance, that I had two months after my college graduation to be idle, I didn’t lounge by a pool — I started reading Henry James and kept reading. “The American,” “The Portrait of a Lady,” “The Bostonians,” “The Golden Bowl”: I plowed through them like sand castles. The more byzantine James’s syntax grew, the harder I pushed, because I had never encountered a sensibility of such infinite subtlety and nuance. (In later months, I would learn that James was both a great writer and a terrible writing model, but the original enchantment lingered.)

Summer reading

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I suppose you’d call all these books warhorses now, or else tokens of overstriving, but when I think back to that ardent young man, I don’t believe he was trying to impress anybody. He was operating on the assumption that had driven him since childhood, that people out there knew things, and if he wanted to know them, too, he had to come knocking. And that innocence, that hunger, was part and parcel with summer, because he was entering his own life’s summer.

I sit now, in effect, at the tail end of that summer. The future, which once seemed an endless plain of possibility, is now a peninsula. So many things have changed, including my relationship to the written word. I couldn’t possibly sit down today and read — or do anything — for six consecutive hours. Books are now inseparably tied to my work. When I’m not reading for research, I’m reading for a review or a writer’s workshop or some other professional obligation. Now and again a book fills me with the old engine roar of wonder — I cherish that — but even then, I’m still, consciously or unconsciously, poking under the hood to see how it’s happening. The authorial eye never relaxes. In my mind, I edit the instructions on shampoo bottles.

So I miss, even envy, that disinterested lad on the beach, swathed in towels and sunblock, and I wonder if, by the time my life’s autumn and winter roll around, I’ll be ready to rejoin him. Not on the beach, perhaps, but the nearest best thing. All the deadlines and contracts will be cast to one side, and I’ll be able to say once more, and mean it: Tell me a story . The Karamazovs will be there waiting.

Louis Bayard, a Book World contributing writer, is the author of several novels, including “Jackie & Me” and the upcoming “The Wildes.”

More from Book World

Love everything about books? Make sure to subscribe to our Book Club newsletter , where Ron Charles guides you through the literary news of the week.

Check out our coverage of this year’s Pulitzer winners: Jayne Anne Phillips won the fiction prize for her novel “ Night Watch .” The nonfiction prize went to Nathan Thrall, for “ A Day in the Life of Abed Salama .” Cristina Rivera Garza received the memoir prize for “ Liliana’s Invincible Summer .” And Jonathan Eig received the biography prize for his “ King: A Life .”

Best books of 2023: See our picks for the 10 best books of 2023 or dive into the staff picks that Book World writers and editors treasured in 2023. Check out the complete lists of 50 notable works for fiction and the top 50 nonfiction books of last year.

Find your favorite genre: Three new memoirs tell stories of struggle and resilience, while five recent historical novels offer a window into other times. Audiobooks more your thing? We’ve got you covered there, too . If you’re looking for what’s new, we have a list of our most anticipated books of 2024 . And here are 10 noteworthy new titles that you might want to consider picking up this April.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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Sci-fi author says he wrote 97 books in 9 months using AI tools, including ChatGPT and Midjourney

Sci-fi author Tim Boucher says he's created 97 books in nine months with the help of AI.

  • In a Newsweek article, Boucher said he used Midjourney, ChatGPT, and Anthropic's Claude.
  • The books contain between 2,000 to 5,000 words and feature 40 to 140 AI-generated images.

Insider Today

In an article for Newsweek, Boucher said he'd used AI image generator Midjourney to illustrate the books, and ChatGPT and Anthropic's Claude for brainstorming and text generation. 

Boucher told Insider he plans to get to "at least 1,000 books, if not beyond."

He said: "My theory is that in the not too distant future, there will be tools which will enable me to piece all the disparate parts together into new and compelling combinations."

Boucher's set of novels are each between 2,000 to 5,000 words and feature 40 to 140 AI-generated images. He said the books generally take around six to eight hours to create with AI tools and then publish, but some can be done in as little as three hours.

The author is selling the books online for between $1.99 and $3.99.

He wrote in Newsweek: "AI has proven to be a remarkable catalyst for my creative work. It has enabled me to increase my output while maintaining consistent quality, and has allowed me to delve into intricate world-building with an efficiency I could never have achieved otherwise."

AI-generated novels have been flooding the market in recent months. 

In February,  ChatGPT was credited as the author or coauthor on more than 200 titles in Amazon's bookstore . Some of the most popular genres were AI guides and children's books.

Ammaar Reshi, a product-design manager at a financial-tech company based in San Francisco, previously told Insider he wrote and illustrated a children's book in 72 hours using ChatGPT and Midjourney. 

Reshi's book, "Alice and Sparkle," went viral on Twitter after it was met with intense backlash from creatives. Some were upset about how AI image generators use their work , while others took issue with the quality of the writing.

Boucher did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, made outside normal working hours. 

Axel Springer, Business Insider's parent company, has a global deal to allow OpenAI to train its models on its media brands' reporting.

Watch: What is ChatGPT, and should we be afraid of AI chatbots?

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What does John Green's book of essays say about the Indy 500? About the Indianapolis nod

Author John Green is no stranger to Indianapolis and the Indy 500, which is Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Green has many works in his back pocket, including several with nods to Indianapolis. It seems fitting to revisit some of the mentions as we wait for drivers to start their engines.

The IndyStar has several guides to get fans ready for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing including a printable starting lineup , how to tune in to the race from outside the racetrack and what people can bring to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

What to know about John Green and the Indy 500:

What does John Green's book of essays say about the Indy 500?

In " The Anthropocene Reviewed ," Green writes essays reviewing different topics from Halley's Comet to Diet Dr Pepper and even the Indianapolis 500, the IndyStar previously reported.

He wrote the Indy 500 review during the pandemic.

“I wanted to write about my experience of suddenly being unable to go to the race, and how it felt to go through all the same rituals that I always go through on that Sunday, and to bike to the race as I always do and to arrive at an empty Speedway, with the gates locked shut."

"It can be hard at times because we have to get used to a new normal to be able to reflect on how much has been lost in the last year and a half," he said. "And obviously the loss of fans at the speedway wasn't one of the big losses, but it was a loss. One loss among billions. For me, it was a way to feel that."

But people don't have to feel that loss again as they can attend the race on Sunday.

The book, which was released in 2021, is his first work of nonfiction and is inspired by his podcast of the same name where he also published monthly reviews.

'The Anthropocene Reviewed': John Green's new nonfiction book finds wonder in Diet Dr Pepper, Indianapolis 500

What John Green books mention Indianapolis?

"The Fault in Our Stars" and "Turtles All the Way Down" are both situated in Indianapolis.

In the latter, there are many references to the city, including:

  • White River
  • Pogue's Run
  • Michigan Road mansion
  • Applebee’s at 86th and Ditch
  • IU Health North Hospital
  • The Indianapolis Star
  • The Indianapolis Prize
  • Juan Solomon Park

Others are reading: John Green’s ‘Turtles’ at home in Indianapolis

Is John Green from Indianapolis?

Not originally.

In his webpage , Green states that he grew up in Orlando. He moved to Indianapolis in 2007 when his wife got a job at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the IndyStar previously reported.

John Green on TikTok: Author still can't stop talking about how great Indianapolis is

How to watch 'Turtles All the Way Down'

The movie adaptation is now available streaming on Max .

When is the 2024 Indy 500?

This year's Indy 500 race is on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

David Lindquist, Rachel Fradette and Ethan May contributed to this article.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: What does John Green's book of essays say about the Indy 500? About the Indianapolis nod

Indiana author John Green discusses freedom to read as the Indianapolis Public Library kicks off national Banned Books Week with a discussion with bestselling author and Indianapolis resident John Green, Oct 2, 2023; Indianapolis Central Branch Public Library, Indianapolis, IN, USA

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Paul Scheer Is Most Nervous About Sharing This Part of His New Book (Exclusive)

The comedian and actor’s new essay collection, ‘Joyful Recollections of Trauma,’ is on sale May 21

Carly Tagen-Dye is the Books editorial assistant at PEOPLE, where she writes for both print and digital platforms.

Abby Stern is a writer-reporter at PEOPLE. She’s been writing about entertainment, fashion, beauty, and other lifestyle content for over fifteen years.

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Paul Scheer originally had some reservations about a chapter in his forthcoming book. Speaking with PEOPLE at a Los Angeles party for his new essay collection, Joyful Recollections of Trauma , on May 16, the comedian, 48, shared that there was a chapter that he was initially hesitant to include.  “The one chapter I struggled with the most was the ADHD chapter that's at the end because it was something that I got diagnosed with as an older person, as a person with a child,” he said. The Veep actor said that both his publisher and his wife, Grace and Frankie star June Diane Raphael , encouraged him to include the section in the essay collection, which details the ways his childhood experiences have impacted his life. 

Corey Nickols/Getty

“She's like, ‘It's the first time I feel like I understood you, like I understood what having your issue is like,'" Scheer said of Raphael. "And it's been odd because it's the one thing that I've told really no one."

Despite how difficult it was for Scheer to write that part of the book, he recalled that early readers were impacted impacted by the chapter, and that they told him it spoke to them. “That was really hard for me, to be that vulnerable, because I think it's still fresh with me, whereas the other stuff was a little bit more dealt with on some level,” he said. “And then I realized that what I respond to in any kind of art, whether it's film, TV or books, is that personal thing, that journey. And it's like my book isn't prescriptive in any way, but it is personal.”

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

“I felt like I realize now I like that chapter being in it because I'm like, ‘Oh, if I would've read that chapter, I might have checked myself out if someone else wrote it,’” he added. “And really, that's how I found out that I had ADHD, was [by] reading other people's dealing with it. So that was something that was really hard for me to be out there with, but also I'm now proud that it's there.”

Family also plays a prominent role in Scheer’s book, as the actor said that he dedicates the book to his parents, as well as his wife and their sons, Gus and Sam.

“They challenge me in the best ways and they bring me to a place that does make me better, that I want to be a great parent to them,” Scheer said of his kids. “I know I'm going to have faults. I know I'm going to make a mistake, but they make me want to be a person that is aware…they make me want to be better.”

Frazer Harrison/WireImage; HarperOne

“I don't think I could have written this book without being a father because that perspective of being a father allowed me to look at my childhood differently, and I think has colored how I treat them and how I am with them,” he continued.

Scheer added that writing his book ultimately became a way to see how far he’s come in his life and career. “I think the reason why I was able to write this book now was because of the work I did,” he says. “I didn't treat the book [as] my therapy as much as a reflection of the work that I've done on myself, so I was able to feel comfortable.”

Never miss a story — sign up for  PEOPLE's free daily newsletter  to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories. Joyful Recollections of Trauma will hit shelves on May 21, and is now available for preorder, wherever books are sold.

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If any body is a beach body, any book is a beach read. Try on these books this summer.

Just like any body can be a beach body, any book can be a beach read. 

When you’re packing a travel bag this summer and mulling over the Beach Reads ! display at your local independent bookstore , stop and ask yourself: What do I really want to read? What do I enjoy reading?

The category “beach read,” as best as anyone can tell, came into fashion in the 1990s, according to The Guardian. It’s a marketing trick, not a mandate. 

As a marketing term, it’s successful because it’s aspirational. We see ourselves on a beach, relaxed and lazily reading that fun book with the bright cover, one that looks nothing like spreadsheets or reports, a book that entertains but doesn’t ask too much. 

But not everyone relaxes the same way.

Check out: USA TODAY's weekly Best-selling Booklist

Maybe you really do want to spend time with the light contemporary fiction, steamy romance, or compulsive thriller that generally gets labeled “beach read.” Totally fine. We’ve got some suggestions for you.

On the other hand, lazy days and long flights mean vacation can be a perfect time to tackle the books you’ve always meant to read. Classics, essays, literary fiction — if you’re a reader who considers heavy reading light work, we’ve got some less conventional recommendations, too. 

Is it a body on the beach? Yes: Beach body. Is it a book on a beach? Yes: Beach read. 

Find your next read USA TODAY's Best-selling booklist

Smart romance

"The Other Side of Disappearing," Kate Clayborn (Kensington, pp 432.. Out now)

What does “smart romance” mean? This book gave me a definition: a romance in which a happy-ever-after ending happens but doesn’t feel required because the characters all had emotional growth. Here, Clayborn sends a true crime podcast producer and a tough-as-nails older sister on a road trip that will change their lives. 

More like this: "Summer Romance," Annabel Monaghan; "When I Think of You," Myah Ariel; "Funny Story," Emily Henry

Literary Larks

"Martyr!," Kaveh Akbar (Penguin Random House, pp.352, out now)

Akbar is a poet, and you can see that in the lyrical writing of his debut novel. The story dips in and out of time and memory and points of view, always twisting around the idea of love. Fun and touching and a little weird, this book is made for hot summer nights. 

More like this: "Help Wanted," Adelle Waldman ; "Come and Get It," Kiley Reid; "Family Meal," Bryan Washington

Literary Adventures

"James," Percival Everett (Doubleday, pp 320, out now)

Consider this retelling of "Huck Finn" your summer reading assignment. Told from the perspective of clever and compassionate Jim, the dangerous Mississippi River raft trip includes familiar stops and characters (no need to read the original), but is sharper and comes with higher stakes as our hero tries to reunite his family. 

More like this: "The Vaster Wilds ," Lauren Groff; "Lies & Weddings", Kevin Kwan; "Lone Women," Victor Lavalle

"While We Were Burning," Sara Koffi (Penguin, pp. 304, out now)

Unreliable narrators and blurry relationship boundaries make this story, examining race and class in Memphis, especially twisty. 

More like this : "First Lie Wins," Ashley Elston; "A Line in The Sand," Kevin Powers; "Bright Young Women," Jessica Knoll 

"The Count of Monte Cristo," Alexander Dumas (Penguin, pp. 1,276, out now)

Don’t be intimidated by size. Many classics, including this one, were written in installments, which means short chapters and built-in cliffhangers. And no matter the time period, people are the same, loving and scheming and struggling. Think of this classic revenge story like your latest binge watch. 

More like this : "Their Eyes Were Watching God," Zora Neale Hurston; "Anna Karenina," Leo Tolstoy; "Jane Eyre," Charlotte Bronte 

"Bite by Bite ," Aimee Nezhukumatathil (HarperCollins, pp. 224, out now)

Essay collections are excellent vacation reads, able to be picked up and put down without interrupting a narrative. Each of these short essays is a perfect little bite, exploring the ways food sparks memory and meaning in our lives. 

More like this: "Divine Might," Natalie Haynes; "The Comfort of Crows," Margaret Renkl; "A Praise Song for Kitchen Ghosts," Crystal Wilkinson

"There’s Always This Year," Hanif Abdurraqib (Random House, pp. 352 out now)

If you want nonfiction that requires you to go a little deeper, Abdurraqib delivers. This is a book about basketball. It’s also about belonging and grief, ambition and America. And all of it is delivered in a structure that perfectly, brilliantly mimics a basketball game. Everything comes down to the final two minutes. 

More like this: "A Map of Future Ruins," Lauren Markham; "Grief Is for People," Sloane Crosley; "This Is What It Sounds Like," Susan Rogers & Ogi Ogas

Hillary Copsey is the book advisor at The Mercantile Library in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Everyone Wants a Piece of Kafka, a Writer Who Refused to Be Claimed

A hundred years after Kafka’s death, people and nations are still fighting over his legacy.

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This illustration features a black-and-white photo of Franz Kafka from the waist up, in a heavy wool blazer, high-collared shirt and tie. The space where his face should be is cut out like a missing puzzle piece, with a partial portrait of Kafka himself peering out through the hole and the rest of the space filled by a swath of vivid green.

By Benjamin Balint

Benjamin Balint is the author of “Kafka’s Last Trial” and, most recently, “Bruno Schulz: An Artist, a Murder, and the Hijacking of History,” winner of the National Jewish Book Award in biography.

In his novella “The Prague Orgy,” Philip Roth has a Czech writer say: “When I studied Kafka, the fate of his books in the hands of the Kafkologists seemed to me to be more grotesque than the fate of Josef K.” Just as Franz Kafka’s prose both demands and evades interpretation, something about his legacy has both solicited and resisted claims of ownership.

Despite his astonishing clairvoyance about the impersonal cruelty of the bureaucratic state and the profound alienation of contemporary life, Kafka could not have foreseen how many admirers would read and misread his enigmatic fictions after his death, nor how many would-be heirs would seek to appropriate him as their own in the century since.

Competing claims began to swirl almost as soon as Kafka died of tuberculosis, 100 years ago this June, a month short of his 41st birthday. Max Brod — close friend, betrayer of Kafka’s last instruction to burn his manuscripts, heavy-handed editor of his diaries and unfinished novels, and author of the first Kafka biography — depicted him as a modern-day “saint” whose stories and parables “are among the most typically Jewish documents of our time.”

Among other religious readers of the novels Brod published (“The Trial” in 1925, “The Castle” in 1926 and “Amerika” in 1927), Kafka’s first English translators, Edwin and Willa Muir, presented him as an allegorist of Christian grace. (In German, “Die Verwandlung,” the title of Kafka’s tale of Gregor Samsa’s metamorphosis into an insect, also connotes “transfiguration.”)

As early as 1947, Edmund Wilson warned that all this deification threatened to “oversaturate and stupefy” Kafka’s readers. Still, the Kafka craze continued to swell. In the 1960s, existentialists interpreted Kafka as an angst-ridden precursor who stared into the abyss of absurdity and asked — as Josef K. does in the penultimate paragraph of “The Trial” — “Where was the Judge whom he had never seen?” Simone de Beauvoir said that Kafka “revealed to us our own problems, confronted by a world without God and where nonetheless our salvation was at stake.”

Psychoanalysts claimed the author of stories like “In the Penal Colony” and “A Hunger Artist” as a neurotic herald of the uncanny or a self-tortured “poet of shame and guilt” (as the subtitle of Saul Friedländer’s biography has it). Modernists adopted Kafka not as a patient to be diagnosed but as the writer who most acutely perceived the bewildering breakdown of received ideas in our society. “Had one to name the artist who comes nearest to bearing the same kind of relation to our age that Dante, Shakespeare and Goethe bore to theirs,” W.H. Auden said, “Kafka is the first one would think of.”

Others pulled Kafka into this or that political cause, most bizarrely when he was fashioned into a weapon of the Cold War. In a speech in Moscow in 1962, Jean-Paul Sartre cautioned against the “militarization” of culture, likening Kafka to a “grenade in the library” or a cartload of dynamite shunted between East and West. “A true cultural competition,” Sartre said, “raises the following pacifist challenge: To whom, us or you, does Kafka belong; that is to say, who understands him best?”

Soviet critics enlisted Kafka as an ally of the dignified individual bravely clashing with the capitalist system, while anti-communist dissidents turned him into an adversary of the bureaucratic terror practiced by authoritarian regimes. In 1954, long before the writer’s name became a ubiquitous adjectival cliché, Arthur Koestler disparaged the Moscow show trials as “Kafka-esque.” Two years later, as Soviet tanks crushed the Hungarian uprising, the Marxist literary critic György Lukács was arrested in Budapest, held in a Romanian castle and deprived of the right to know the charges, much less to rebut them. “So Kafka was a realist after all!” he declared.

A more recent chapter in the story of Kafka’s contentious afterlife involves those who attempted to connect a national “we” to his name. Beginning in 2007, a nine-year custody battle was waged in Israeli courts over the manuscripts by Kafka that Brod had narrowly rescued from the Nazi occupation of Prague. The case could be read as a commentary on a single question: Does this writer — a member of a Jewish minority within a German-speaking minority within a Czech minority within a heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire — belong to German literature or to the state that regards itself as the representative of Jews everywhere?

On one side was the National Library of Israel, which recruited Kafka as a Jewish writer, despite his ambivalence toward Zionism. Israel saw itself as the rightful home to the cultural products of diaspora, the appropriate ending place for a story begun elsewhere. On the other side, lawyers for the German Literature Archive in Marbach argued that Kafka’s manuscripts belonged in Germany because his language was German — “the purest German prose of the century,” Hannah Arendt said.

When I attended the Israeli Supreme Court hearing on the case in the summer of 2016, one thing seemed beyond doubt: Germany’s claim on a writer whose family was decimated in the Shoah had become entangled with the country’s attempt to overcome its shame. Perhaps some Germans hoped that the act of claiming Kafka — as a Jewish guardian of German prose, and as a Jew fortunate enough to die before he could fall victim to the Nazis — would serve that overcoming. Here lay a potent irony: The writer who raised self-condemnation to an art would be used as an instrument of self-exculpation, of effacing, rather than facing up to, the past. (The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the National Library .)

The Palestinian undergraduates with whom I read Kafka were not preoccupied with questions of cultural ownership. When we read “The Trial” in a course I taught at a Bard College program in East Jerusalem, the students were riveted from the opening line: “Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested.”

One student compared the book to Mustafa Khalifa’s “ The Shell ,” a novel (published here in 2023) based on the author’s 13-year imprisonment without trial in Syria. Another found in Josef K.’s futile pursuit of justice a new vocabulary with which to express her family’s decades-long legal efforts to stave off eviction from the home they had lived in since the early 1950s, a two-bedroom apartment in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. Since the property had belonged to a Jewish charitable trust before Israel’s creation in 1948, the state argued that ownership should revert to the charity’s trustees.

Like the trial over Kafka’s manuscripts, the family’s appeals would eventually be heard by the Supreme Court. “In ‘The Trial,’” my student said, “you can never obtain an acquittal. So also with us: We can only hope to postpone the eviction, to postpone, to postpone, to postpone.” For these young readers, Kafka conjured a world not surreal but superreal .

It struck me then that the readers who come closest to the essence of Kafka’s singular vision are those who recognize the irony of taking a proprietary attitude toward a writer so faithful to his own non-belonging, and so careful to set his characters — antagonists against authorities divine, political and paternal — in no particular time or place. In a letter to his fiancée Felice Bauer, Kafka writes of his “infinite yearning for independence and freedom in all things.” Despite his deep feeling for Yiddish theater and for the Hebrew language, that yearning unmoored him from any kind of collective belonging and untethered his imagination to sail beyond any national canon, “obedient,” in his words, “to its own laws of motion.”

We can only wonder whether the spectacle of a century’s warring over his artistic legacy would have amused this least possessive of writers. “Everything I possess is directed against me,” Kafka confessed to Brod, “and what is directed against me is no longer in my possession.”

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