Over the centuries, The Atlantic has prized great storytelling. Now we’re setting out to publish fiction with far greater frequency than we’ve managed in the past decade, starting today with “Birdie,” a new story by Lauren Groff.
Contemplative reading might be viewed as a minor act of rebellion in the internet age. At a time when every available surface is saturated in information, it sometimes seems as though facts are absorbed osmotically, even accidentally, just by moving through space and time. And although the internet is not the perfect opposite of the novel, as some people have argued, it makes fairly efficient work of splintering attention and devouring time. Literary reading—of fiction and of poetry, the kind of reading that commands moral and emotional reflection—is far too easily set aside.