Book Reviews Archive

Review: IN FULL VELVET by Jenny Johnson

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For her debut collection In Full Velvet, poet Jenny Johnson's address begins with “Thank you,” and it is radical, as if a muse might peer over the edge of her throne and say, “My, those are words I have not heard for some time.”

Exploring personal politics in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

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The sinister Jean Brodie continues to bewitch: decades after the publication of the novel that bears her name, the myth of her humanism persists; she has long been shorthand for a strain of idealism and independent thought that she never represented in the first place. The Prime of Miss

The Push and Pull of the Small Town in The Annie Year

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So what's inside the fortified small town of The Annie Year? The intimacy of a man "unbuttoning his pants to make room for the prime rib to move through his system" at a diner booth.

“Hyperconsciousness of the Historical Instability of Words”: An Interview with Monica Youn

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Monica Youn’s poems are precise, sharp-edged and fleet-footed; they always seem to be moving in three different directions at once. She is the author of three books of poems: Blackacre, Barter, and Ignatz, and her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. A former attorney, she now teaches

Review: A FIELD GUIDE TO MURDER AND FLY FISHING by Tim Weed

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Much of the collection explores the way men navigate their early adult life, the infatuations, the friendships, the sense of belonging and not belonging. Protagonists try to discover who they really are. In the travel stories especially they seem to seek something elusive, irretrievably lost.

Review: WRITING HARD STORIES by Melanie Brooks

Sharply written, these intimate and insightful exchanges dispel the myth that perhaps we all, writers or not, have come to believe about our own narratives, our own lives: “The worst story that we can tell ourselves is that we are alone.”

Must-Reads for 2017

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very new year gives us the chance to be swept away by new books, and here are some of this winter’s best.

Review: THANK YOU FOR BEING LATE: AN OPTIMIST’S GUIDE TO THRIVING IN THE AGE OF ACCELERATIONS by Thomas Friedman

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In Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations, Thomas L. Friedman’s title hints at a need for what we're losing in today's world. Namely, all the imperfections that make us human. After all, being late and being wrong is what being

In Bookstores Near You

Ervick’s un-biography gives us a historical tale that translates into a contemporary one: how women can take possession of their fates, write their stories as they see fit, even when living under the iron fist of societal pressures or men afraid of female power.

Monsters and Men: Empathy in Victor LaValle’s Ballad of Black Tom

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What forces turn someone who is, for the most part, fundamentally good into something possibly evil? This question lies at the heart of much horror. In his novella The Ballad of Black Tom, reimagining characters from the weird fiction universe of HP Lovecraft, Victor LaValle answers that question.