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Reif Larsen

Reif Larsen’s first novel, The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet (Penguin, 2009), was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into twenty-seven languages. Larsen’s essays and fiction have appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, GQ, Tin House, McSweeney’s, One Story, the Harvard Review, the Millions, VQR, Asymptote, and the Believer


A Taxonomy of Mask Cheats

September 8, 2020 | Essays

The face mask, that simple piece of cloth, has become fraught territory. Over the summer, Americans began reading the use or absence of a mask as a political statement, a commentary on individual freedom, an invitation to a fight. Our president and his cadre were agonizingly slow to wear them, often casting the mask as a sign of weakness. Their bare faces have come to symbolize the administration’s negligence and denial.

by Reif Larsen

Mapping: A Short History of Cars in Cuba

Spring 2014 | Multimedia

Though Cuba ranks 134th in the world in vehicles per capita—only thirty-eight per every one thousand residents, just ahead of Tajikistan—the automobile has become emblematic of this island nation’s turbulent history over the last seventy years [...]

Mapping by Reif Larsen

Mapping: Diasporas

Winter 2014 | Multimedia

The US is filled with remarkable diasporic hot spots, where immigrant and refugee communities have sprung up, most often due to secondary migration patterns.


Mapping: Exclaves

Fall 2013 | Multimedia

A wise man once said that every story is the story of someone trying to make a home in a place where he doesn’t belong. The world is filled with such places. An exclave is a piece of land not bound to the rest of its territory, orphaned by geography. Some of these exclaves are enclaves—that is, territory completely surrounded on all sides by another territory.