Five years ago, Mark McGurl was opening yet another Amazon box when he started thinking about the corporate behemoth’s impact on the novel. Amazon’s impact on bookselling was already widely acknowledged—anywhere from 50% to 80% of book purchases in the US are now made via the company—less considered was its effect on the very form of the novel. McGurl, a literature professor at Stanford University and the author of Everything and Less: The Novel in the Age of Amazon, dove into Amazon’s most read (and unread) list. Through self-publishing programs like Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon has allowed thousands of writers to bypass traditional gatekeepers. The result is an unfathomable volume of books. “If we’re talking about the numbers published, then we are in a golden age of the novel, ” McGurl tells me over video call. “Traditional This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Three Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 49 Object Matters A spotlight on commonplace books. Arts & Culture Issue 37 Anne Tyler The author of sprawling family dramas on her own epic half-century of writing. Arts & Culture Issue 31 SCALE S,M,X,XL: Our editors apply a Koolhaasian taxonomy to some favorite architecture books. Arts & Culture Issue 30 Akwaeke Emezi An interview with the author who finished writing three novels before their first was even published. Arts & Culture Issue 29 Elif Shafak A conversation with Turkey’s leading female author. Arts & Culture Weekend Reading: Hikari Yokoyama Philanthropist Hikari Yokoyama on five books that changed her thinking on gender and the balance of power.