Book Reviews Archive

I Forgot to Remember to Forget: Three Poetry Chapbook Reviews

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For National Poetry Month this year, I read three poetry chapbooks that revolve around memory. Childhood memory, historical memory, the body’s learned memory, how place or sound or smell or language or popular culture evokes memory—the chapbooks here all touch on one or more or many of these themes.

Review: THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE LAST TRUE HERMIT by Michael Finkel

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In 1986, at the age of twenty, without saying goodbye to anybody (and ignoring the Tao’s declaration that, “the truly kind leave no one”), Knight entered the woods of central Maine and never looked back.

This Spring’s Best Books

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This spring, let your mind and heart wander where your feet might not take you—to far-off lands, to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and to the whiskey-making mountains of Appalachia—without ever leaving your bedroom. Here are our favorite picks for this season’s latest reads.

Review: THE WIDOW’S GUIDE TO EDIBLE MUSHROOMS by Chauna Craig

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Most of the stories in The Widow’s Guide to Edible Mushrooms, Chauna Craig’s debut collection, are set in the American West, centered on characters who often identify closely with their geography ... And while Craig convincingly portrays a range of characters, her work is particularly striking when she writes

Rural Pride in the Walleye Capital of the World: Emily Fridlund’s HISTORY OF WOLVES

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Loose River is a town where the two key descriptions of Christmastime are “competing nativity scenes” and the “strings of colored lights up and down Main Street.” Linda, the protagonist, thinks in terms of natural geography: her friend lives “in a trailer three lakes over.”

Review: THE SPIRIT PAPERS by Elizabeth Metzger

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This book is a book about heaven. It’s about the collection of human connections and love that make a heaven. In that case, The Spirit Papers is its own little immaculate heaven.

Beyond War: Jorge Argueta’s Poetic Memoir and Moving Beyond Displacement

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As with other non-fictional accounts and ruminations on the Salvadoran civil war, Argueta is not afraid to look the violence and trauma of the war in the eye with Flesh Wounds: A Poetic Memoir.

Dismantling Binary: Three Reviews of Genderqueer & Trans Writers’ Chapbooks

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This month, I read work from both genderqueer and transgender writers. Inspired by recent tweets, blog posts, and press releases supporting works by these writers, it seemed a good opportunity to spotlight these three chapbooks.

Review: PACHINKO by Min Jin Lee

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Pachinko is as much a story about money and prejudice as it about colonialism, war and globalization. Lee explores how politics effect the family unit, but more profoundly and perhaps perniciously, individuals’ sense of identity and self-worth that underpin their decisions.

Review: ABANDON ME by Melissa Febos

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Abandon me. The title is a straight-faced challenge. To her lover who she fears will. To two fathers who already have. To the reader who’s embarking on this story with her. Abandon me. Do the worst thing to me I can imagine. And I will save myself with story.