“One only reads a novel for the first time once”: An Interview with Alex Landragin

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Landragin’s new book can be read in paginated order, moving through each of the three books within in turn, or it can be read in the “Baroness Sequence,” which leads the reader through all three books simultaneously, following notes within page footers à la the Choose Your Own Adventure

Memory and Trauma in Hieroglyphics

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Jill McCorkle’s new novel, out today, is obsessed with memory and trauma: how we are often living two lives at once, our bodies moving and doing in the present while our minds are simultaneously being drawn into the past, both real and imagined.

I Hold a Wolf by the Ears by Laura van den Berg

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Laura van den Berg is a writer of wonderous understatement. Her stories end with readers feeling they have Wile E Coyote’d their way off a cliff and are only now realizing there is no ground left beneath them.

Must I Go by Yiyun Li

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Though Yiyun Li’s new novel contains the sketchy architecture of an intergenerational, historical novel, its rooms and stories remain more conceptual than actual . . . . Husbands and wives are easily swapped. The defiant workings of memory are more important than memories themselves. Lives are annotated rather than

The Ecopoetics of Empire

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What is at the core of Tracy Zeman’s debut poetry collection is the understanding and articulation of the links between things—between flora and fauna, sediments, barns, fossils, graveyards, and violent events traceable in the landscape and memory.

Reading the Uncanny

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In the work of Carmen Maria Machado and Sequoia Nagamatsu, the uncanny elements that might be unsettling for readers are stand-ins for very familiar things: the complexities of interpersonal relationships and the hardships that some have while moving through the world in the bodies they were born with.

“Day to be recorded with sunbeams! Day of light and love!”: Longfellow and the Weather

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s weather reports document a lifelong fascination, even partnership, with the weather acting as the writer’s trusted, often fickle, companion and muse. The ritual documentation of the daily weather reveals Longfellow’s creative process and his failed attempts at separating his private life from the published prose and

Traumatic Transfiguration in Picnic at Hanging Rock

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Joan Lindsay’s historical novel is about the transformations that take place after trauma, and how trauma is distorted when pressed into the molds of different class experiences, representing the final shapes we are allowed to assume.

Pew by Catherine Lacey

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Catherine Lacey’s new novel questions what people are willing to do to protect their perceptions of peace. The answers may not be surprising, but when history is an endless horror show, why should we expect any different? What good is grace when people give it to themselves?

Reading Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark

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The darkness of the future may not mean that anything is possible, but it certainly means that no particular outcome is certain. This uncertainty is the grounds of hope; it also means that hope in itself is insufficient. Hope demands that we work to build a better future on