David Remnick talks spies and spy fiction with Jason Matthews, a former CIA operative who writes about Russia — though he’s never been there. Curtis Sittenfeld explores the timeless appeal of a good romance, especially if it contains sex on horseback. And Jia Tolentino lives out her own version of the adventures in a favorite children’s book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.” Plus, Annie Dillard on the terror of a total eclipse.
Illustration by Rebecca Mock