Book Reviews Archive

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.

Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett

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In Kristen Arnett’s debut novel, the dead resemble the living, and the living seem to be on the brink of death.

Tears of the Trufflepig by Fernando A. Flores

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An ill-fated expedition entangles the protagonist of Fernando A. Flores’ new novel in a powerful syndicate whose tentacles of influence sprawl in all directions, and whose sinister and audacious ambitions materialize a trufflepig with the body of a pig, the hide of a crocodile, and the beak of an

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

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There is pleasure to be had in reading Julia Phillips’ debut novel, even in the midst of such grief and despair. Phillips is a beautiful, assured writer, one who knows how to create fully-developed characters, a marvelous sense of place, and a constant forward momentum.

China Dream by Ma Jian

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In Ma Jian’s new novel, the traumatic dream is one where “the past and the present form a tangled web from which it becomes impossible to break free.”

Spring by Ali Smith

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To read a book by Ali Smith is to know that she will ask you to do some work, though that work will always be a pleasure and a bit of a game.

Nightingale by Paisley Rekdal

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Paisley Rekdal’s sixth poetry collection explores the ways desire, pain, fear, and trauma transform us, often without our permission, and often into something unexpected.