S.C. Cornell

I am a writer in Mexico City at work on a novel.

My essays and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The Drift, LIBER: A Feminist Review, and Columbia Economics Review

Email me: sccornell1 at gmail



Selected Writing


How Much Do Words Matter? 
The New Yorker | On feminist etymology. 

On Androgyny 
LIBER | On Susan Sontag’s utopia.


To Get It Was The Gift of Life
LIBER | On Darryl Pinckney and Elizabeth Hardwick.

Fetal Rites 
The Drift | On anti-abortion propaganda.

Sex Tips From Apes 
LIBER | On sexual essentialism.

Diary of the Seduced
LIBER | On Elif Batuman.

Baby, Was I Born This Way? 
LIBER | On Amia Srinivasan.


Quantifying the Risk of Collusion
Columbia Economics Review | On game theory in the World Cup.

Year in Books

See 2022 books here. Bold font for favorites.

  1. Isherwood on Writing by Christopher Isherwood 
  2. Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession by Janet Malcolm (reread)
  3. Moby Dick by Herman Melville 
  4. The Only Story by Julian Barnes 
  5. Dearest Father by Franz Kafka, trans by Hannah and Richard Stokes 
  6. The Naked Don’t Fear the Water by Matthieu Aikens 
  7. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce 
  8. Christopher and His Kind by Christopher Isherwood
  9. On Photography by Susan Sontag 
  10. On Women by Susan Sontag
  11. Letters to Milena by Franz Kafka, trans. Phillip Boehm 
  12. Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag (reread)
  13. Reborn: Journals and Notebooks 1947-1963 by Susan Sontag (reread) 
  14. So Much Blue by Percival Everett
  15. Styles of Radical Will by Susan Sontag 
  16. Illness as Metaphor by Susan Sontag 
  17. Scoop by Evelyn Waugh 
  18. AIDS and Its Metaphor by Susan Sontag
  19. As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Diaries 1964-1980 by Susan Sontag (reread)
  20. Sempre Susan by Sigrid Nuñez 
  21. Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes
  22. The Summer Before the Dark by Doris Lessing 
  23. The Haunting of Hajji Hotak by Jamil Jan Kochai
  24. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante 
  25. The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante
  26. Totem and Taboo by Sigmund Freud 
  27. Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume 
  28. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell 
  29. Mother Tongue by Jenny Nuttall 
  30. Strangers Drowning by Larissa MacFarquhar 
  31. Ethics by Spinoza Baruch 
  32. Couplets by Maggie Milner 
  33. Seduction and Betrayal by Elizabeth Hardwick 
  34. The Violet Hour: Great Writers at the End by Katie Roiphe
  35. The Loneliest Americans by Jay Caspian Kang 
  36. Another Country by James Baldwin 
  37. The Trees by Percival Everett 
  38. The Group by Mary McCarthy
  39. Why Does Inequality Matter? by T. M. Scanlon
  40. Paradais by Fernanda Melchor 
  41. Chilean Poet by Alejandro Zambra
  42. Untitled by Sam Mayers
  43. Cheap Land Colorado by Ted Conover
  44. Self-Consciousness by John Updike 
  45. Strangers to Ourselves by Rachel Aviv
  46. Youth by J.M. Coetzee 
  47. The Art of Political Murder by Francisco Goldman
  48. Birds of America by Mary McCarthy
  49. I Must Be Dreaming by Roz Chast 
  50. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast (reread)
  51. The Party, After You Left by Roz Chast
  52. What I Hate: From A to Z by Roz Chast
  53. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (reread)
  54. Theories of Everything by Roz Chast
  55. Going Into New York by Roz Chast 
  56. América del Norte by Nicolás Medina Mora 
  57. Underworld by Don Delillo
  58. Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs by Kerry Howley
  59. Fair Play by Katie Barnes
  60. Ansiedad por Alberto Montt
  61. The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara
  62. Sporting Gender: the History, Science, and Stories of Transgender and Intersex Athletes by Joanna Harper
  63. Sex Testing: Gender Policing in Women’s Sports by Lindsay Parks Pieper
  64. The Sports Gene by David Epstein 
  65. On Beauty and Being Just by Elaine Scarry
  66. Testosterone: An Unauthorized History by Rebecca M Jordan-Young and Katrina Karkazis 
  67. Loitering With Intent by Muriel Sparks

Year in Movies

See 2022 movies here. Bold font for favorites.

  1. Triangle of Sadness by Ruben Östlun
  2. Eo by Jerry Skolimowski
  3. Tár by Todd Field
  4. Grey Gardens by Albert and David Maysles
  5. Trainwreck by Judd Apatow 
  6. Avec Amour et Acharnement by Claire Denis
  7. The Whale by Darren Aronovsky
  8. Park Row by Samuel Fuller 
  9. Women Talking by Sarah Polley
  10. El silencio del topo by Anais Taracena
  11. The Banshees of Inisherin by Martin McDonagh
  12. Scenes From a Marriage by Ingmar Bergman
  13. Persona by Ingmar Bergman 
  14. Corsage by Marie Kreutzer
  15. Brujería by Christopher Murray
  16. Cholitas by Jaime Murciego and Pablo Iraburu
  17. 3:10 to Yuma by Delmore Davies
  18. Blondi by Dolores Fonzi
  19. The Trial by Orson Welles
  20. Mi novia es la revolución by Marcelino Islas Hernández
  21. Asteroid City by Wes Anderson
  22. The Red Desert by Michelangelo Antonioni
  23. No Hard Feelings by Gene Stupnitsky
  24. Nights on Earth by Jim Jarmusch
  25. Contempt by Jean-Luc Godard 
  26. A Night of Knowing Nothing by Payal Kapadia 
  27. La Dama de Silencio by María José Cuevas 
  28. Barbie by Greta Gerwig
  29. Pitch Perfect 3 by Trish Sie
  30. Loving Highsmith by Eva Vitija
  31. Searching for Sugarman by Malik Bendjelloul
  32. Broker by Hirokazu Koreeda
  33. Set it Up by Claire Scanlon 
  34. To Leslie by Micheal Morris 
  35. Disobedience by Sebastían Lelio

2022 Books

Bold font for favorites.

  1. History of Sexuality, Vol 1 by Michel Foucault
  2. As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh by Susan Sontag
  3. The Right to Sex by Amia Srinivasan
  4. Zami by Audre Lorde
  5. Straight Man by Richard Russo
  6. Less by Andrew Sean Greer
  7. There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children Until They Moved Back In by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
  8. Everything you Know by Zoë Heller
  9. Gender and Our Brains by Gina Rippon
  10. Every Day Is For the Thief by Teju Cole
  11. Weather by Jenny Offil
  12. Motherhood by Sheila Heti
  13. Missing Time by Ari Brostoff
  14. Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes 
  15. Tristam Shandy by Laurence Sterne
  16. The Contrarian by Max Chavkin
  17. Ties by Dominico Starnone
  18. Sea State by Tabitha Lasley
  19. The Idiot by Elif Batuman 
  20. Either/Or by Elif Batuman
  21. Diary of a Seducer by Soren Kierkegaard  
  22. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
  23. The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse
  24. The Possessed by Elif Batuman
  25. The Inimitable Jeeves by PG Wodehouse
  26. Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor
  27. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  28. Trick by Domenico Starnone
  29. Ravelstein by Saul Bellow
  30. A Good School by Richard Yates
  31. Collected Stories by Richard Yates
  32. Bolt from the Blue by Mary McCarthy
  33. Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt
  34. Easter’s Parade by Richard Yates
  35. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
  36. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  37. At the Bottom of the River by Jamaica Kincaid
  38. ATTENTION: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction by Joshua Cohen
  39. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  40. I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal
  41. Closely Watched Trains by Bohumil Hrabal
  42. Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal
  43. Memoirs of Catholic Girlhood by Mary McCarthy
  44. Total Fears by Bohumil Hrabal
  45. Wait Until Spring, Bandini by John Fante
  46. In My Fathers Court by Isaac Bashevis Singer
  47. Jiri Menzel and the History of Closely Watched Trains by Josef Skvorecky
  48. The Tender Barbarian by Bohumil Hrabal and Vladimir Boudnek
  49. The Company She Keeps by Mary McCarthy
  50. The English Understand Wool by Helen DeWitt
  51. Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal (reread)
  52. Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature by Robert Darnton 
  53. The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson 
  54. 91, 176 Words by Emmanuel Carrere 
  55. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust 
  56. Reward System by Jem Calder 
  57. Nature Poem by Tommy Pico 
  58. Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age by Bohumil Hrabal 
  59. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  60. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark 
  61. Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist by Frans de Waal 
  62. The Believers by Zoë Heller 
  63. An Introduction to American Literature by Jorge Luis Borges 
  64. In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West by Wendy Brown 
  65. Happening by Annie Ernaux 
  66. Mr. Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood 
  67. Simple Passion by Annie Ernaux 
  68. A Women’s Story by Annie Ernaux 
  69. In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower by Marcel Proust 
  70. Cutting it Short by Bohumil Hrabal 
  71. The Little Town Where Time Stood Still by Bohumil Hrabal 
  72. Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler 
  73. The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith 
  74. Mr. Kafka and Other Tales from the Time of the Cult by Bohumil Hrabal 
  75. A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter 
  76. Busted in New York by Darryl Pinckney 
  77. Come Back in September by Darryl Pinckney 
  78. Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher 
  79. The Family Roe by Joshua Prager 
  80. Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement Before Roe V. Wade by Daniel K. Williams 
  81. Street Politics of Abortion by Joshua C. Wilson 
  82. Ripley Under Ground by Patricia Highsmith 
  83. Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick 
  84. Ripley’s Game by Patricia Highsmith 
  85. The Dolphin Letters, edited by Saskia Hamilton 
  86. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  87. The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick
  88. Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West
  89. Your Name Here by Helen DeWitt and Ilya Griedneff  
  90. Liberation Day by George Saunders 
  91. The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West 
  92. The Sex Lives of African Women by Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah
  93. U and I by Nicholson Baker (reread) 
  94. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, trans. Anthony Briggs 
  95. Monkey Boy by Francisco Goldman  
  96. Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby
  97. The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker
  98. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke (reread)
  99. Ulysses by James Joyce
  100. Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller 
  101. A Life’s Work by Rachel Cusk
  102. Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather 
  103. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  104. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  105. Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood
  106. Intimacies by Katie Kitamura
  107. Dubliners by James Joyce