Book Reviews Archive

The Best Short Story I Read This Month: “Missing Things” by Edwin Madu

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Every word carries with it a connotative meaning, a definition that stretches beyond what can be found in the dictionary. Edwin Madu uses this notion to his advantage in his short story “Missing Things” published by Okey-Panky in July of this year.

Three Chapbooks That Marry the Written Word and Visual Art

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Chapbooks that combine the work of a writer with that of a visual artist are rarer than, perhaps, they should be. There’s something special about flipping open a chapbook to find art within its pages as well.

Review: ON WALKING ON by Cole Swensen

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Imagine an anthology of the literature of walking, with examples ranging from the Middle Ages to the present. Now imagine a book containing only commentaries on these ruminations on walking, without the accompaniment of the texts that inspired them.

Review: SURPASSING CERTAINTY: WHAT MY TWENTIES TAUGHT ME by Janet Mock

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A constant theme of the book is Mock’s profound isolation, reinforced by her “stealth” status, “wearing that cloak of normalcy” where she is seen as a cisgender woman.

Review: LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng

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The novel opens with Elena Richardson watching her home burn down, and readers backtrack the circumstances leading to an act of arson.

Chapbook Round-Up: Titles from Cincinnati’s Porkbelly Press

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Porkbelly Press is a Cincinnati-based press that puts out chapbooks and micro-chapbooks as well as a literary magazines and anthologies.

Review: I KNOW YOUR KIND by William Brewer

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With scars across its pages, I Know Your Kind conveys the pervasive shadow the opioid epidemic casts across Oceana—and, by extension, towns like Oceana—in a way that statistics, figures, and journalism cannot.

The Best Short Story I Read This Month: “Take Your Child To Work Report” by Maya Beck

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By formatting her short story “Take Your Child To Work Day Report” like an actual report, Maya Beck examines power dynamics in the classroom and society as a whole.

Review: OUT OF THE BLUE: NEW SHORT FICTION FROM ICELAND Edited by Helen Mitsios

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These stories stray far from tourist brochure representations; they are not filled with glacial lagoons, ice caves, thermal pools, or Björk.

Review: A TWENTY MINUTE SILENCE FOLLOWED BY APPLAUSE by Shawn Wen

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If Marcel Marceau as a performer and a French man was cheeky, brilliant, and impossible, it seems no accident the title of Wen's book-length essay is what it is.