Vulnerable and wise, Hrabal’s gorgeous memoir subtly probes the depths of a fragile, troubled psyche, turning a subject as potentially benign as pet ownership into a platform of interlocking drama and introspection.
Like Ashbery in his final collections, or Cohen in his final albums, Paul Muldoon has nothing left to prove, and can take delight simply in doing what he inimitably does. And his delight is ours.
Despite the trouble and humiliation Ibrahim endured as a political prisoner and later as a writer in attempting to publish his work, the timeless value of his lessons is undeniable: the impositions of decency and social and literary norms often serve only to exacerbate the problems they claim to
Writing within the form of the novel yet against its western traditions, Bhattacharya’s presence in the international English literary sphere beckons the reader to look closer into the chaos.
Kathy Fagan’s newest collection of poetry leans on its eponymous tree’s multi-colored, mottled trunks, its hefty size and spreading canopy, to provide a material figure for perseverance and resurrection, replacing those old images of “angel / wings of gold and mica.”
Olga Tokarczuk’s newly translated novel has been marketed as a murder mystery, albeit a strange one. It is that, partly, but underneath the whodunit is another novel: one about how our obsession with usefulness leads to greed, and the devastating impact of both on the environment.
In new collections by Marwa Helal, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and Chaun Webster, we find rich archives of ideas and texts that hold within them visions of a future where people can fly and where people can also stay to flourish in the place they call home.
Genderqueerness is futuristic at its core, which is why you’ll come across many genderqueer characters in speculative fiction. But translation creates friction: gender identities meant to be ambiguous or kept secret until the reveal of an unexpected twist come up against other linguistic systems, as well as translators’ preconceptions.
Italo Calvino’s work reminds us that curiosity itself is a kind of gravity, a pull that is difficult to understand or measure and yet is instinctively, unavoidably felt.
Although none of the characters in Isabella Hammad’s new novel are diasporic themselves, her intricate use of Arabic instills the mixed language of diaspora with a fresh purpose.