Book Reviews Archive

True Love by Sarah Gerard

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Gerard’s novel is a fascinating read for anyone looking to understand the world we’ll inhabit when the smoke of the Trump era clears—in particular, the world that’s being left to young people.

Of Color by Jaswinder Bolina

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Bolina’s collection explores the complicated ground of being “of color,” being an immigrant, being American, and being human with an admirable fluency. He entrusts us with an honest conversation—one that we should all be having with one other.

Ha Seong-nan’s Bluebeard’s First Wife

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Ha is invested not in the myth itself but in what it helps us see. In her hands, the fairy-tale works as a photo filter, bringing into clearer relief her actual subject: the horrors of daily contemporary life.

A Burning by Megha Majumdar

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Megha Majumdar’s debut novel forces us to see the inequities in the world, and the way desire for freedom is so often thwarted.

Minor Detail by Adania Shibli

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Shibli is a deft chronicler of the blinkering of life wrought by oppressive regimes, the way their manifold codes and proscriptions tighten around perception like a coil of barbed wire.

Brown Album: Essays on Exile and Identity by Porochista Khakpour

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Porochista Khakpour’s essay collection is a fearless reflection of an immigrant searching for home and for herself.

Quotients by Tracy O’Neill

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Does information protect or imprison us? Tracy O’Neill’s highly-anticipated second novel—part suspense story, part relationship drama and part commentary on the perils of our interconnected epoch—explores a world in which the truth is hard to determine, and even harder to prove.

Cockfight by María Fernanda Ampuero

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Ampuero enters into critical dialogue with form and substance. Combining structures reminiscent of fairy tales and horror films, Ampuero upends these conventions by reversing tropes and decentering the male gaze.

Obit by Victoria Chang

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The emotional power of Chang’s new collection comes from the grace and honesty with which she turns this familiar form inside out to show us the private side of family, the knotting together of generations, the bewilderment of grief.

How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang

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Zhang’s novel is a treasure-trove of questions that devastate even as they beckon readers on.