Nothing Left To Give

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Coming across a fiftieth anniversary edition copy of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, Ruth Margalit examines, for the New Yorker, the meaning of this book, especially in the context of the rest of the writer’s work:

… it’s difficult to know whether Silverstein, who died of a heart attack in 1999, after keeping out of the public eye for more than two decades, meant for us to read the book so conclusively. His biography and body of work suggest a subtler, and, in the end, perhaps an even more troubling, way of looking at it.


Alex Norcia is a writer living in Brooklyn. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in VICE, The Millions, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Electric Literature, Word Riot, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. He is an editor-at-large at The Offing. More from this author →