In Hernan Diaz’s new book, narrative distance and style are wielded as signifiers of truth; as the novel progresses, the differing narrative strategies of each section create a progression of collapsing narrative distance that brings the reader closer—one feels—to the version of the story they can trust.
The poems in Luke Hathaway’s new collection demand attention, both with their often austere beauty and their rich and challenging depth of reference, but these poems contain so much conversation that it would feel strange to read the book in absolute isolation.
In conversation with Christopher Smart’s “My Cat Jeoffry,” Elena Passarello’s “Jeoffry” is an empathetic duet that reaches both forward and back with gentle humor and sparking wit, a perfect companion against the dark.
Emily Nemens’s 2020 novel is baseball superstar and secret gambling addict Jason Goodyear’s story. The unnamed sportswriter who shepherds the reader along, however, through his positioning and control of the story’s unfurling, attempts to make the teller at least as important, if not more important, than the tale.
Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s 2020 novel is a conversation between women, one of whom has the freedom to speak her long and impassioned set-piece in her famous keen but perilous little more, and another who is—by facing squarely that seductive, obliterating control that could empty room after room—creating herself.