Posts by: Ed Winstead

Summer of Hate

“Summer of Hate,” by Chris Kraus

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It’s appropriate to read Chris Kraus’s Summer of Hate in the middle of the winter. The novel is perfect for January and February, being very fast moving and set in warm places. And we, bombarded as we are this time of year by speeches on the state of our states and our union, are well prepared to receive it: Summer of Hate is a state of the union novel.

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The Colonel

The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi

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Somewhere in an anonymous functionary’s desk drawer or a filing cabinet in a fluorescent-lit office or a cardboard box in a dusty basement sits the Persian-language manuscript of Mahmoud Dowlatabadi’s The Colonel. Whatever the Iranian government does with books that challenge the official history, that so incisively delineate the many facets of Iranian politics and culture and so tragically describe the many places where those divergent forces meet and attempt to destroy each other, whatever the government does with those sorts of books does not include allowing their publication in Iran.

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Absolution

Absolution, by Patrick Flanery

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Patrick Flanery is not South African, and neither is his debut novel, Absolution. This is not to say that Flanery does not know South Africa or its politics, history, landscape, or culture, all of which pervade the book. Rather, this novel is more accurately defined as a dialogue with and about the past, whether South Africa’s struggle to come to grips with Apartheid and its aftermath, or our own individual conceptions of who we are, what we’ve done, and all of the hypothetical futures that were sacrificed to get us to the present.

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