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Reviews

To Set Asunder: The Separation and Synthesis of Tiana Nobile’s Cleave

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A word becomes a reckoning, a reconciling of contradiction.

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The Reconstruction of Derrida: Peter Salmon’s An Event, Perhaps

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The key insight is that names, and indeed all boundaries, involve a hierarchy.

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Electric Synthesis: Drakkar Noir by Michael Chang

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Chang’s style imitates internet culture and the patterns of an anxious mind. But there’s also glamour.

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Word by Word, Brick by Brick: Christine Larusso’s There Will Be No More Daughters

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In other words: Larusso does some remarkably heavy lifting in this book.

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A Love That Leaves Scars: With Teeth by Kristen Arnett

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Reading Kristen Arnett’s With Teeth is like taking an afternoon drive down the I-4 of my memory.

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Both Trauma and Sin: Elizabeth Miki Brina’s Speak, Okinawa

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Speak, Okinawa is masterful at describing the internal dissonance that mixed race children can feel.

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Exorcising Whiteness: Khalisa Rae’s Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat

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Rae presents America as seen through Black girls’ eyes, experienced by our bodies.

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Illuminating the Darkness: Madeleine L’Engle’s The Moment of Tenderness

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For anyone looking for some truth and tenderness amidst a still-trying time, look no further.

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Hell Is a Young Man: Fraternity by Benjamin Nugent

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The brutality of frat culture, Nugent suggests, is a veneer that hardly masks its devotees’ miseries and insecurities.

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Depths of Story: Who’s Your Daddy by Arisa White

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The inherited wounds cut so deep one wonders if they can ever be fully healed.

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The Plague within a Plague: Ethel Rohan’s In the Event of Contact

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Rohan is masterful at mining these triads for their palpable uneasiness and unavoidable suffering.

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A Quiet Epidemic: Jessica Zucker’s I Had A Miscarriage: A Memoir, A Movement

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While the event of a miscarriage may only be a moment, the body and mind grieve long after.

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Language Is the Spell: Kathryn Nuernberger’s The Witch of Eye

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A compendium of pungent and poignant biographical narratives of numerous so-called witches, The Witch of Eye is difficult to put down.

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A Space of Sanctuary: Mother Country by Elana Bell

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The body, like a country, holds so much, and all at once.

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Writing Down the Shadows: Tiny Nightmares: Very Short Tales of Horror

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We get to devour our horror from the top of the head down to the tips of the toes.

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Beauty in a Cold Season: Katherine May’s Wintering

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As we go, we are breathlessly held in an in-between state, a limbo, a transition.

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A Thousand Interlinked Details: Maybe the People Would Be the Times by Luc Sante

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With so much to hear in every moment, for Sante, the page is a score, the world a song.

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I’m Cold, Please Touch Me: The Freezer Door by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

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Sycamore wrote this book long before pandemic time, and yet it couldn’t have arrived at a better moment.

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The Light Endures: 13th Balloon by Mark Bibbins

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Grief begs to be analogized, not to be tamed exactly, but somehow made approachable.

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A Myriad Reckoning: Seismic: Seattle, City of Literature

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The collective reimagining in Seismic calls for literary revolution.

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A Literary Tasting Menu: My Year Abroad by Chang-rae Lee

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Simply put, the novel’s heart is not political but sensual.

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A Poetics of Questions: The Bower by Connie Voisine

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To learn is perhaps Voisine’s primary goal in writing the poems in The Bower.

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Asking the Right Questions: Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom

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Transcendent Kingdom becomes an experiment in itself.

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Not Looking Away: The State She’s In by Lesley Wheeler

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But look at this poet-speaker speaking the unspeakable!

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