Reviews

Bodies Testing Boundaries: The Worlds We Think We Know by Dalia Rosenfeld

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The Worlds We Think We Know by Dalia Rosenfeld is a profound debut that carefully undermines the foundational assumptions we have about other people. ...more

Navigating Empathy: Camille T. Dungy’s Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History

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Luckily for us, Dungy’s increase in empathy and experience coincides with her embrace of the braided essay: her thinking crashes people, places, and ideas against each other in unexpected and adventurous ways. ...more

There Is No Answer: Draw Your Weapons by Sarah Sentilles

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As Sentilles makes clear, she is against the wars the United States is currently involved in, and war in general, but she’s critical of what that means. ...more

At the Intersection of Personal and Political: Resistance, Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now edited by Amit Majmudar

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American writers have a long, distinguished history of calling out injustice. ...more

Beauty Undercut by the Possibility of Terror: Afterland by Mai Der Vang

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Precariousness is an essential condition of life for the people who populate Vang’s poems, especially the Hmong refugees on whom the poet’s eye most lovingly lingers. ...more

Reclaiming the Language of Pop Culture: Reversible by Marisa Crawford

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Marisa Crawford’s Reversible is an evocative collection, showcasing the ways in which pop culture saturates us with meaning, and how it teaches us to become. ...more

Grief Is Not Regret: May Cause Love by Kassi Underwood

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When women do not want a pregnancy, we may not experience the marvel and awe some claim are instant and “natural”—or, if we do, they are overshadowed by fear, and grief. ...more

Unbridled Power in All Its Majestic Terror: Will Bardenwerper’s The Prisoner in His Palace

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As we begin our own Age of the Strongman, Hussein’s almost effortless manipulation—of soldiers expecting exactly that behavior—shows how susceptible we all might be to the sheer force of a big personality. ...more

Poetry That Makes You Nearly Miss the Plane: The Complete Works of Pat Parker edited by Julie R. Enszer

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In other words, sometimes we need to be jolted out of our predictable behaviors and routines. We need the kind of reading that scatters us, pulls and weaves our cerebral, emotional, and visceral chains. ...more

The “Reality” of Memoir: Delphine de Vigan’s Based on a True Story

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Memoirists are not transcriptionists of their pasts, recalling conversations verbatim. They are artists, whose job is to interpret the lived history through an artistic lens. ...more

Worlds Full of Demons: Chavisa Woods’s Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country

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We must ask ourselves: who stands in the shadows of our national persona, both historically and in the nation’s literature? Woods raises the question, and her work points toward an answer. ...more

A Very Great Scoundrel: The Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins Volume III: Diaries, Journals, and Notebooks

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In hindsight, it’s sometimes difficult not to read more than a bit of sadomasochism into Hopkins’s inner passions and the ways in which he resisted them. ...more

Haunted by Child Refugees: Valeria Luiselli’s Tell Me How It Ends

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These aren’t ghosts; these are children who have braved a perilous journey to escape the violent nightmares back home. ...more