Photo credit David Surowiecki

Parul Sehgal is a book critic at The New York Times. She was previously a columnist and senior editor at The New York Times Book Review. Her work has appeared in the Atlantic, Slate, Bookforum, The New Yorker, Tin House, and The Literary Review, among other publications, and she was awarded the Nona Balakian Award from the National Book Critics Circle for her criticism. She has been a featured speaker at TED and teaches at NYU’s Graduate Creative Writing Program.

Interviews and profiles:

New York Magazine

Document Journal


New York Times

Poets and Writers

Inside Higher Ed

Podcast Interviews:



Slate’s I Have to Ask

Contact Parul. Follow her on Twitter.

Recent work

Select reviews:

On Chekhov, semicolons, Sarah Schulman, Hilary Mantel, Martin Amis, Kierkegaard, Salman Rushdie, Naomi Wolf, Susan Sontag, Phillip Roth, Yiyun Li, Charles Murray, Audre Lorde, Lorraine Hansberry, Tove Ditlevsen, Lauren Oyler, Raven Leilani, the history of the New York Times Book Review, Marguerite Duras, Richard Avedon, Fleabag, Wayne Koestenbaum, George Saunders, Natalia Ginzburg, Colson Whitehead, Clarice Lispector, Adrienne Rich.

Select profiles:

Jenny Offill, Glenda Jackson, Young Jean Lee, Cindy Sherman, Mary Gaitskill

More reviews and profiles here.

Older Work

On Daphne Du Maurier, by Parul Sehgal, The New York Times, July 6, 2017

Few writers have watched and captured women with such conspicuous pleasure as du Maurier — the way they walk and wear coats and unscrew their earrings. The way they pin up their hair and stub out their cigarettes; the way they call to their dogs, break horses, comfort children, deceive their husbands and coax plants from flinty soil. Few writers (Elena Ferrante comes to mind) have been so aware of how women excite one another’s imaginations.

Arundhati Roy’s Fascinating Mess

By Parul Sehgal, the Atlantic, July/August 2017

To so confidently believe oneself to be on the right side of history is risky—for a writer especially. In that balmy glow of self-regard, complacency can easily take root. And good prose demands a measure of self-doubt—the worry that nags at a writer, that forces her to double back on her sentences, unravel and knit them up again, asking repeatedly: Is this clear? Is this true?

The Forced Heroism of the ‘Survivor’

By Parul Sehgal, The New York Times Magazine, May 5, 2016

FOR MOST OF her life, Virginia Woolf suffered from what she called “looking-glass shame,” an aversion to seeing herself in mirrors. She wrote about it late in her career, not long before her suicide, recalling that the trouble began with one particular mirror. It hung in the hall of her family home, and when she was about 6, her half brother Gerald Duckworth lifted her onto a nearby table and put his hands under her clothes.