Vice and virtue clash daily round the world, and while the definition of sin may vary, its literary allure is universal. Perhaps that’s because no matter how easy we think moral failings are to finger, in actuality their elusiveness on the page is what makes for the stuff of great literature. “It’s so easy to forget . . . ” says a former student of an envious teacher; yet do moral failings arise because it’s easy to forget, or because it’s even easier to harbor and remember? Maya Arad, Roberto Bolaño, Lars Saabye Christensen, Doris Kareva, Danilo Kiš, Mathieu Lindon, Sérgio Rodrigues, Kjell Westo, and Yan Lianke put envy, greed, pride, sloth, gluttony, anger, and lust to thought-provoking ends for the New Year.




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