Book Reviews Archive

In Bookstores Near You: Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

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Depicting his time as a “patient” in the ex-gay therapy program known as Love in Action (LIA), Garrard Conley’s Boy Erased opens in a way that reminds me, eerily, of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

Review: THE RETURN: FATHERS, SONS AND THE LAND IN BETWEEN by Hisham Matar

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Through the detritus of the Qaddafi regime's collapse, Matar digs with a singular purpose: to return to his homeland and find any answers to the ultimate fate of his father.

3 Chapbook Reviews: Loving and Living in Louisiana

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Sometimes, place is an obvious theme or motif in a work, while other times it informs a work in a subtler but still necessary way.

Review: WILLY LOMAN’S RECKLESS DAUGHTER OR LIVING TRUTHFULLY UNDER IMAGINARY CIRCUMSTANCES by Elizabeth Powell

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In this fantastic collection what is evident from the get-go is that the speaker is most definitely a daughter. She is also a wife, a mother, a woman of the deep heart and spirit. Reckless? No. Or, yes, if the heart is a reckless landscape of emotive temperaments, shifts,

Review: A WOMAN OF PROPERTY by Robyn Schiff

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A new kind of writing about motherhood may be emerging. Rachel Zucker's and Arielle Greenberg's Home/Birth, Brenda Shaughnessy's Our Andromeda, Eula Biss's On Immunity, and Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts, for example, are conscious in a contemporary way about new possibilities of childbearing and parenting, about choices and agency, yet

Review: EIGHTY DAYS OF SUNLIGHT by Robert Yune

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As Yune crafts a story of family ties and gently illustrates the breakdown of said family, his characters come to life through dry wit, keen observation and just enough boob jokes to make readers truly feel like they’re spending time with men in their twenties.

In Bookstores Near You

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William Wenthe’s latest collection, God’s Foolishness (winner of the L.E. Phillabaum Poetry Award with LSU Press), begins in mid-August, weighted with back to school and the anticipation for new opportunities . . . but also the dissatisfaction of unfulfilled goals.

Review: INHERITED DISORDERS: STORIES, PARABLES, & PROBLEMS by Adam Ehrlich Sachs

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The shorts are wide-ranging. Some are heartbreaking in less than 500 words; others are unexpectedly hilarious whether outright or with a darker flavor to their humor. Disorders is a contemporary stable of parables not only about fathers and sons, but about the everyday struggle to live one’s life in

3 Chapbook Reviews: Own Your Past, Believe The Present, Anticipate the Future

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For August, I read three chapbooks that dealt with ideas of past, present, and future in both overlapping and contrasting ways. They also each somehow dealt with ideas of spaces that became place for the writers, though sometimes these places were more about time than physical geography.

The Myth of the Wild

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Helen Macdonald’s choice to raise and train a goshawk in the wake of her father’s death is a decision tied inexorably to the notion of “wild” life and land. H is for Hawk is a sensitive, fraught, and unexpected memoir of land and what it means to be wild.