An Emergency in Slow Motion

You know Diane Arbus's work: Her arresting, often disturbing, black-and-white photographs examine people on the periphery of the "ordinary" world, hinting at dark inner lives and finding the freakish in the normal and the normal in the freakish. This illuminating "psychobiography" by William Todd Schultz puts the focus on Arbus's own life, exploring the idea that her photographs said as much about the enigmatic woman behind the lens (a suicide at age 48) as the subjects in front of it.

April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…