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03:57

(Re)defining Orphans

Book critic John Leonard says the memoir section of Eileen Simpson's new hybrid book, about her own experiences as an orphan, is compelling and insightful; her later meditations on the idea of orphanhood are less successful.

07:40

'Perfect Little World' Imagines Family Drama Inside A Utopian Compound

Utopian communities don't fare much better in fiction than they do in real life. As the plot usually unfolds, a brave new world loses its luster fast when the failings of its founder are exposed, or when the community itself begins to morph into a cult. Think of Lauren Groff's Arcadia or Carolyn Parkhurst's Harmony, two recent novels that have imagined alternative communities and their inevitable crack-up.

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