Author Archive

Review: SCRATCH: WRITERS, MONEY, AND THE ART OF MAKING A LIVING edited by Manjula Martin

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Scratch, a collection of interviews and essays from writers spanning the gamut of genre, commercial success, race, gender, and class, boasts pieces from Alexander Chee, Roxane Gay, Yiyun Li, Porochista Khakpour, and Jonathan Franzen. Topics range from the gritty details of checks and debts to a philosophical pondering of

Review: THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE LAST TRUE HERMIT by Michael Finkel

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In 1986, at the age of twenty, without saying goodbye to anybody (and ignoring the Tao’s declaration that, “the truly kind leave no one”), Knight entered the woods of central Maine and never looked back.

Review: THE SPIRIT PAPERS by Elizabeth Metzger

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This book is a book about heaven. It’s about the collection of human connections and love that make a heaven. In that case, The Spirit Papers is its own little immaculate heaven.

Review: PACHINKO by Min Jin Lee

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Pachinko is as much a story about money and prejudice as it about colonialism, war and globalization. Lee explores how politics effect the family unit, but more profoundly and perhaps perniciously, individuals’ sense of identity and self-worth that underpin their decisions.

Review: ABANDON ME by Melissa Febos

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Abandon me. The title is a straight-faced challenge. To her lover who she fears will. To two fathers who already have. To the reader who’s embarking on this story with her. Abandon me. Do the worst thing to me I can imagine. And I will save myself with story.

Review: TELL ME HOW IT ENDS: AN ESSAY IN 40 QUESTIONS by Valeria Luiselli

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In her expanded essay Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, Luiselli outlines the intake form for undocumented minors. The procedure, on paper, is simple: Luiselli presents the questions, the children speak, and Luiselli transcribes their answers in English for the lawyers who will fight to

Review: IN THE GREAT GREEN ROOM: THE BRILLIANT AND BOLD LIFE OF MARGARET WISE BROWN by Amy Gary

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In the Great Green Room is an eminently readable biography. The book sheds light on Brown’s creative process and unlikely sources of inspiration. Gary sheds new light on how Goodnight Moon was made, and in doing so we appreciate it even more.

Review: IN FULL VELVET by Jenny Johnson

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For her debut collection In Full Velvet, poet Jenny Johnson's address begins with “Thank you,” and it is radical, as if a muse might peer over the edge of her throne and say, “My, those are words I have not heard for some time.”

Review: A FIELD GUIDE TO MURDER AND FLY FISHING by Tim Weed

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Much of the collection explores the way men navigate their early adult life, the infatuations, the friendships, the sense of belonging and not belonging. Protagonists try to discover who they really are. In the travel stories especially they seem to seek something elusive, irretrievably lost.

Review: WRITING HARD STORIES by Melanie Brooks

Sharply written, these intimate and insightful exchanges dispel the myth that perhaps we all, writers or not, have come to believe about our own narratives, our own lives: “The worst story that we can tell ourselves is that we are alone.”