Book Reviews Archive

Silver Sparrow

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Silver Sparrow Tayari Jones Algonquin Books, May 2011 $19.95 352 pages This post was written by Margaret LaFleur. Reading Silver Sparrow, Tayari Jones’s latest novel, is much like playing a child’s memory card game. The cards are placed face down in front of you, and each turn you flip
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Zazen

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Zazen Vanessa Veselka Red Lemonade, May 2011 $15.95 257 pages This post was written by Caitlin O’Neil. With the anniversary of the September 11 attacks just a few days past, Zazen isn’t the comforting book you might be seeking. But it is a book that could not have been
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Coeur de Lion

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Coeur de Lion Ariana Reines Fence Books, September 2011 $15.95 128 pages Coeur de lion (“lion-heart”) is the brand of cheese pictured in the frontispiece to Ariana Reines’s second book of poetry. More famously, it’s the cognomen of Richard I of England, who also turns up, on page 65. 
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A. S. J. Tessimond’s Collected Poems

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Collected Poems A.S.J. Tessimond Bloodaxe Books, November 2010 256 pages $24.95 Wallace Stevens wrote that “The poem must resist the intelligence / Almost successfully.” That mischievous “almost,” of course, can be interpreted in many ways, and poets have always had different attitudes about how much of a fight verses
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Wild Coast

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Wild Coast: Travels on South America’s Untamed Edge John Gimlette Alfred A. Knopf, June 2011 368 Pages $28.95 This post was written by Luke Epplin. In 2008, British travel writer John Gimlette trekked for months through the countries along South America’s northeastern rim, together known as the Guianas. Wild
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The Other Walk

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The Other Walk Sven Birkerts Graywolf Press, 2011 192 pages $15.00 “This morning, going against all convention, I turned right instead of left…” This collection traveled around with me for weeks, bumping along in my bag everywhere I went. I could have read it faster; would have, if I
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The Sisters Brothers

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The Sisters Brothers Patrick DeWitt Ecco, April 2011 336 pages $24.99 This post was written by Lisa Peet. If the Western exists to glorify the outsider, then it should be noted that Eli Sisters, narrator of Patrick DeWitt’s terrific The Sisters Brothers, is an outsider several times over. He
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Radial Symmetry

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Radial Symmetry Katherine Larson Yale University Press, March 2011. 96 pages $18.00 This post was written by Tory Adkisson. In her recent collection of poems, Radial Symmetry, Yale Younger Series-winner Katherine Larson examines our culture’s increasingly stark division between scientist and artist, and ultimately makes a strong case for
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As Though She Were Sleeping

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As Though She Were Sleeping Elias Khoury (translated by Humphrey Davies) MacLehose Press, May 2011 368 pages $23.83 This post was written by M. Lynx Qualey. Translator Humphrey Davies has called Elias Khoury’s 2007 novel, As Though She Were Sleeping, “one of the least linear books ever put down
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We The Animals

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We the Animals Justin Torres Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 125 pages $18.00 In We the Animals, Justin Torres demonstrates how crafting one tactile sentence after another can transform even the most ugly imaginations, experiences, and memories into a work beautiful to behold. In this debut semi-autobiographical novel, Torres asserts himself
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