Author Archive

Julie Otsuka’s Layered Points of View

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Julie Otsuka’s new novel is divided into five chapters, three written in the first-person plural perspective and two in the second-person; the novel examines dementia, familial relationships, and the friction between the collective and the individual, using the shifts in point-of-view to marry form to content.

Sara Lippmann’s Turns in Jerks

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Even though the characters in Sara Lippmann’s second story collection are often stuck in their lives, a sense of life, of possibility, of creation, runs throughout the book, uniting its stories as one. Lippmann focuses on the unexpected and on the surprising in order to focus on life.

The Search for Home in Away to Stay

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Mary Kuryla’s debut is a coming-of-age novel, a story about a girl slowly finding her way—though in this case, the narrative is turned upside down: Olya finds a home rather than leaves one.

Love and Loss in You Never Get It Back

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Cara Blue Adams skillfully deploys the direct address in her 2021 collection. The love and loss that is examined throughout is heightened by this craft choice; the narrative arc that is created through its use underscores the narrative arc of the collection and carries the reader through the book

The Ebb and Flow of Women’s Friendships in Fiona and Jane

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Jean Chen Ho’s wonderful debut is a book that is built on memory, a book that speaks to the importance and difficulties and richness of friendship between women over time, a book that braids its form and content together to create meaning.

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

The Joy of Reading Slowly

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I have become a far better reader over the last year and a half because of learning how to read more slowly. Perhaps most importantly, though, I once again love to read.

Hao’s Exploration of Language

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As Ye Chun’s new collection builds, drawing and exploring the lives of Chinese women, the importance of language to communicate, to understand, and to dream is illustrated again and again.

Life and Death in Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket

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Hilma Wolitzer’s new story collection is brimming with life and humor, and yet death is ever-present, leading the book forward to its final, inevitable conclusion.

Dybek, Shalamov, and Condensed Milk

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The transformation of milk into preserved milk is a magic trick of sorts, a way to extend the life of a perishable product. Although in very different ways, Varlam Shalamov’s “Condensed Milk” and Stuart Dybek’s “Pet Milk” are interested in considering man’s ability to do the same.