April 2nd, 2013 | 8:00am

Fiona Maazel is the author of the novels Last Last Chance and Woke Up Lonely, the latter of which was recently published by Graywolf Press. She is the winner of the Bard Prize for Fiction and a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Honoree. She teaches at Brooklyn College, Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University, and was the Picador Guest Professor at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Nelson first met Maazel, briefly, during a book launch party at Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn, New York. They traded a few emails and agreed to conduct their interview online, over Gchat.

Photo by Melody Nixon
April 1st, 2013 | 8:00am

I hadn't come to Mongolia seeking an education in the politics of development, but the signs of rapid, double-edged growth were everywhere. In Bayan-Olgii, the westernmost city, a huge entourage of Western foreigners driving foreign vehicles tore into the yurt camp where I stayed one night. They shook the felt walls of the camp with their shouting and drinking and ramen noodle-making, and the next morning did burn outs in the gravel driveway and honked as they left, showering pebbles over the camp owners' barelegged children.

March 29th, 2013 | 10:00am

In two sequential hurricane seasons, the Earth has mounted two solid runs at (re)producing the plot of Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow. It’s good Rich’s second novel found print this spring. After Irene and Sandy, there’s this spooky feeling that it’s only a matter of time before greater disaster strikes.

Photo by Geoff Bendeck
March 27th, 2013 | 8:00am

The police commander of Quinindé showed up dead in the province of Manabí yesterday, pounds of cocaine and money littering his car. He died, slumped over the steering wheel, his body blistered with bullets. There is the menace of drugs, poverty, and gangs that looms over this city where the two rivers meet. Lately, anonymous flyers have appeared threatening vigilante justice—threatening to take back the town. “We know who you are thieves, murders, gang members,” it says. “And we will bring you a taste of your own poison.”

March 26th, 2013 | 8:00am

Today, I am setting boots to snow.  In my hands I hold a pair of shiny new binoculars.  They’re my first new pair since the very first I bought, at age 12, with my $100 of babysitting money.  For twenty years I carried those, and the trusty little things never failed me. These new ones cost a little more, yet even with their bright lenses, I'm thwarted by a golden-crowned kinglet. The tiny bird nips from one branch to the next, too quick to view for more than an instant as it seeks some minuscule source of nourishment among the needles.