Book Reviews Archive

Girl by Edna O’Brien

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Edna O’Brien performs a sort of tight-rope act, strung between the stream-like nature of her prose and the painful shards of her story. Brutality stomps through the pages of her new novel, astonishing in its recurrence and terrifying in the variable justifications that underpin it.

The Collector of Leftover Souls by Eliane Brum

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Eliane Brum’s journalism is a challenge to those of us living lives of comfort and privilege. Our task is to be the reporter she strives to be: one who mostly listens.

Rerun Era by Joanna Howard

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In her new memoir, Joanna Howard questions a world where suffering is only acceptable when it is entertaining, when it is something people can watch again and again.

Love and I by Fanny Howe

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In the wilds of associations that Howe’s poems produce, readers are sure to find both niches of rest and, simultaneously, calls to action.

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

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Coates’ debut novel builds stories within stories, revisiting pre-Civil War America through the eyes of a survivor of the slave trade.

Breathe: A Letter to My Sons by Imani Perry

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Perry, in the legacy of James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Kiese Laymon, employs the epistolary form to craft an intimate meditation on the fears, hopes, and responsibilities of raising two Black boys in America.

SoundMachine by Rachel Zucker

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In her new book, Rachel Zucker questions if her family is a distraction from her poetry, or if her poetry is a distraction from her family.

Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat

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Danticat doles out prickly investigations of transnational identity that are thickened by circumstance and mucked up by globalization.

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.