Author Archive

Myths and Mundanity in Jill Bialosky’s The Deceptions

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Perhaps the greatest achievement of Jill Bialosky's novel is its captivating depiction of mundane reality.

Personal and Academic Pursuits in Elaine Hsieh Chou’s Disorientation

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Elaine Hsieh Chou’s debut is not only an outrageously enjoyable academic mystery, but also a moving portrayal of self-discovery.

Defining Care in Win Me Something

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In Kyle Lucia Wu’s debut novel, care looks like many things . . . it’s in this subtle lesson that Wu’s quiet, understated prose builds to a deeply moving coming-of-age novel.

Self-Editing in Hermione Hoby’s Virtue

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Hermione Hoby’s new novel beautifully explores the temptation to define yourself by other people’s expectations, and the risks of losing yourself in relationships where you don’t belong.

The Purpose of Art in Rachel Cusk’s Second Place

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Cusk's new novel is worth reading for its sharp descriptions and powerful story alone, but it’s the in-depth exploration of the purpose of art that makes the story meaningful.

Miracle Country by Kendra Atleework

Atleework’s memoir is steeped in her passion for California’s Owens Valley and her striking observations. It reveals a life defined by an absence, and Atleework points us to the power in this understanding.

Compact Spaces and Relationships in Howards End and On Beauty

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E.M. Forster’s novel is deeply concerned with compactly contained relationships, as well as the ideas and spaces that forge these connections. Zadie Smith’s modern-day retelling explores similarly contained personal relationships with a significant update: the book is set on a college campus.

Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey

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In Miranda Popkey’s debut novel, conversation has the power to shape the story of a life.

The Haunted House of Lucy Wood’s Weathering

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Haunted houses are liminal spaces by design, the boundary between life and afterlife blurred and the line between truth and imagination called into question within. But the most effective haunted houses in literature blur even more lines—between past and present, and memory and reality.

Women Writing Food

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The characters of Lara Williams’ and Margaret Atwood’s novels learn, eventually, to treat their love of food as a gift.