Reading Rilke in Lockdown

I’ve found myself turning to Rainer Maria Rilke’s poems again and again over the last year, his words giving me space to release myself from the prison of my own feelings, and offer an alternative, even curative, way to live in the world.

Love Like That by Emma Duffy-Comparone

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Emma Duffy-Comparone’s debut refuses to shield the reader from unsavory elements of a story.

“What are the conditions of contemplation to exist in an alien planet?”: An Interview with Mauro Javier Cárdenas

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Reading Cárdenas’s second novel, with its intricately patterned sentences circling obsessively around an absent center, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the author has done something remarkable, inventing an entirely original language for representing the fractured sensation of being conscious in the twenty-first century.

Reading William Trevor’s “A Day” and Jamel Brinkley’s “Comfort”

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Brinkley’s story, written in response to Trevor’s, echoes the latter’s plot, characters, and structure, but in capturing its tone—a gentleness and a very light touch—the story transcends the original, its ending resonating with meaning.

The Power of Documenting Your Own Story

Patricia Engel’s new novel demonstrates the importance of taking back your narrative, of learning and documenting your own story for no one but yourself.

The Act of Making a Home in Severance

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Ling Ma’s 2018 novel is a story about what it means to make a life when one has been removed—whether willingly or by force—from one’s familiar surroundings, and the faith and perseverance required in order to call a new place home.

The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen

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In his new novel, Viet Thanh Nguyen does not allow the reader to forget that fiction traffics in truth.

The Repetition and Accretion of Violence

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Three recent books by poets Valzhyna Mort, Eduardo C. Corral, and Claudia Rankine examine state violence by using violence’s signatures––repetition and accretion––as tools within the text. In these works, post-Chernobyl Belarus, barren American border landscapes, and the minefields of everyday social interactions are scrutinized, again and again.

Delusion and Reality in Earthlings

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Sayaka Murata’s latest novel to be translated into English explores the way individuals try to move through a world that, ultimately, doesn’t make sense.

Tomorrow They Won’t Dare to Murder Us by Joseph Andras

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Complicating conventional Western perceptions of terrorism, Joseph Andras’s debut novel subverts colonial morality and interrogates a philosophical dilemma that is still very much alive in our contemporary consciousness.