Author Archive

Unbelievable Girls

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In The Girl On The Train, which recently hit paperback and movie theaters, the narrative reliability of Rachel, the book’s protagonist, becomes a question from the very first chapter. On the first evening of the book, we find her drinking canned gin and tonics on the subway on her

Remembering the Poetry of Leonard Cohen

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Leonard Cohen, the Canadian poet, novelist and songwriter, died last week at the age of 82, after publicly stating to the press that he was ready to die. He gave warning that his time was coming, but still, I was not ready.

This Halloween You Should Be Reading Angela Carter

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If you’re looking for some reading to get you in the spirit of Halloween, and your tastes run more to the strange and literary rather than the usual horror fare, you’d be hard pressed to do better than Angela Carter’s short stories.

Lying in a Hammock

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Reader, I am having a bad day. I am having a bad day, and I can’t seem to write anything worth your time, and so I have flipped through my books and settled on James Wright’s “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota.”

Blackberries Forever

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In “Trances of the Blast,” the poem from the book by the same name, Mary Ruefle begins with a question and answer: “What is the code for happiness?/Blackberries forever.” Although the book—Trances of the Blast—came out several years ago, this particular line has haunted me ever since.

The Bigness of The World, The Wintry Chill of The Midwest

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Lori Ostlund’s “The Bigness of The World,” a short story collection rereleased in trade paperback in February 2016, was recipient of the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction, and if ever a prize-winning book could be argued to take after the prize’s namesake, then this is that book.

Review: RAPTURE by Sjohnna McCray

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Rapture Sjohnna McCray Graywolf Press; April 2016 72 pp; $16 Buy: paperback | Kindle “Father and Son by Window,” the opening poem in Sjohnna McCray’s debut poetry collection Rapture, has an ephemeral feel; the poem rises like a plume of smoke. “You sing, soft winds and blue seat,” it begins, a

Review: THE DARKENING TRAPEZE by Larry Levis

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The Darkening Trapeze Larry Levis Graywolf Press, January 2016 96 pp; $16 Buy paperback The Darkening Trapeze, Larry Levis’ second posthumous book of poems since his death in 1996, is a strikingly self-conscious collection, a book whose lyrical depth and sweeping beauty is checked by gossip, unflattering confessions, jokes,