Author Archive

Two Boston Commons at Twilight

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Susan Minot’s story “Boston Common at Twilight” shares its title with a Childe Hassam painting. Although the former does not directly mention the latter, there are many ways that the works are linked, and seeing these connections underscores the themes that run through the story and allows the viewer

A Burning by Megha Majumdar

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Megha Majumdar’s debut novel forces us to see the inequities in the world, and the way desire for freedom is so often thwarted.

Whiteout Conditions by Tariq Shah

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In Tariq Shah’s debut novel, the protagonists finds a sliver of life in a world of death and, with that, a tiny bit of grace.

Oksana, Behave! and Olive, Again

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New novels by Maria Kuznetsova and Elizabeth Strout, written in the form of chapter-length stories, give us the opportunity to see a great span of a life and to focus in on the moments that matter.

Last of Her Name by Mimi Lok

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In Mimi Lok’s debut story collection, the characters are linked in their sense of displacement and isolation, both connected to and separate from their families and their shared histories.

The Gone Dead by Chanelle Benz

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Chanelle Benz’s haunting debut novel interrogates memory, race, and the way that stories define our lives.

Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett

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In Kristen Arnett’s debut novel, the dead resemble the living, and the living seem to be on the brink of death.

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

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There is pleasure to be had in reading Julia Phillips’ debut novel, even in the midst of such grief and despair. Phillips is a beautiful, assured writer, one who knows how to create fully-developed characters, a marvelous sense of place, and a constant forward momentum.

Spring by Ali Smith

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To read a book by Ali Smith is to know that she will ask you to do some work, though that work will always be a pleasure and a bit of a game.

The Unspeakable

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Yiyun Li’s new novel uses conversation as the mode to better explore her narrator’s grief.