Bad People and Bad Dreams in A Door Behind a Door

Author: | Categories: Book Reviews, Fiction No comments
Yelena Moskovich’s novel is loose, dreamy, and symbol-packed. Characters morph and become nightmarish versions of themselves, and it is unclear if the transformation is real or only a bad dream.

Collecting Art and Grief in Letters to Camondo

Author: | Categories: Book Reviews, Nonfiction No comments
De Waal pays homage to delicate, restrained elegance of good style, a kind of style that requires keen perception, artisanal knowledge, and sensitivity.

Searching for an American Epistemology in Lost in Summerland

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Barrett Swanson’s essays rigorously interrogate the intersection between capitalism, masculinity, and the “gnawing sense of purposelessness” pervasive in our country’s psyche, while also adding an undeniable empathetic and interpersonal dimension that satisfies a reader’s desire for emotionally specific narrative intrigue.

The Persona as a Portal in The January Children

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
In Safia Elhillo’s 2017 poetry collection, both the historical figure of Abdelhalim Hafez and his personification seem to serve as an umbilical cord connecting the speaker to her heritage as she navigates the trauma of immigration.

The Dark Depths of Motherhood in Love Me Back

Merritt Tierce’s 2014 novel is a beautiful and honest portrait of a young mother. It is also dark and disturbing, and is as much about punishment as it is about motherhood, and how the two intertwine.

Decoding the Silences in Corregidora

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Gayl Jones’s 1975 book positions language as an apparatus of control and power, a weapon used to continue cycles of oppression. It contends that silence—both literal and metaphorical—can create a future untainted by the past.

The Bass Rock’s Layered Use of Setting

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
The use of place in Evie Wyld’s third novel underscores the constant nature of violence against women—that unchanging and immoveable landscape—and yet the capacity for women to band together in order to fight back shows that there may, indeed, be better days ahead.

Fragmentation and The Narrow Road to the Interior

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Kimiko Hahn’s 2006 poetry collection not only demonstrates the non-linear zuihitsu’s possibilities for relaying personal story, but also includes her meta-musings on genre and fragmentation itself, especially in terms of how “complete incompleteness” might serve as a haven for women artists—such subversions interrupt power, upset façade, and invite truth-telling.

A Family of Strangers in The Arsonists’ City

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Behind the straightforward family disagreement that underpins Hala Alyan’s new novel lies all the complications, subtleties, and dishonesties upon which families are founded, along with the fears, longings, and displacement more particular to immigrant households.

“All memoirists are the narrator and the character at once”: An Interview with Lilly Dancyger

Author: | Categories: Interviews No comments
Lilly Dancyger’s just-released mixed media memoir is a story of two artists, forever separated, and the history and symbols that provide an artistic shorthand able to move past the boundaries of shared experiences and meet again.