Book Reviews Archive

The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa

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Ogawa could have written a political thriller but opts instead for a closer look at communities under siege by the very political forces that should be protecting them.

Be Recorder by Carmen Giménez Smith

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Carmen Giménez Smith’s newest collection records the monolith, deconstructs it, and reassembles it as a world that looks a little more like one we can bear.

History. A Mess. by Sigrún Pálsdóttir

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Sigrún Pálsdóttir’s new novel is an enlightening critique of the constraints and pressures of modern scholarship. The book makes no claim to providing any answers but instead settles comfortably in the personal. In other words, it’s a diagnosis, not a treatment.

Costalegre by Courtney Maum

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Maum’s coming-of-age novel probes the hypocrisy of the art world, the challenges of being a child of artists, and the dangers of not being loved. 

The Wind that Lays Waste by Selva Almada

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There is a bit of incompleteness in every human soul, Almada seems to suggest.

Maggie Brown & Others: Stories by Peter Orner

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In his latest collection of short stories, Peter Orner stays true to his talent: elucidating life through character, one snippet at a time.

Malina by Ingeborg Bachmann

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Ingeborg Bachmann’s new novel is an agonizing assertion of being, a victory over the forces that conspire to shroud one in silence. As slippery and senseless as language can sometimes be, the book asserts, it’s still the best way of pinioning oneself to the world.

The Gone Dead by Chanelle Benz

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Chanelle Benz’s haunting debut novel interrogates memory, race, and the way that stories define our lives.

The Last Love Poem I Will Ever Write by Gregory Orr

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The crystalized, perfectly-clear articulations of grief that begin the collection ring through it, making it impossible to read even the simplest lyric as light.

Bunny by Mona Awad

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Awad’s leap into the unreal summons new life to the familiar woes of academia and art making.