Author Archive

The Bass Rock’s Layered Use of Setting

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The use of place in Evie Wyld’s third novel underscores the constant nature of violence against women—that unchanging and immoveable landscape—and yet the capacity for women to band together in order to fight back shows that there may, indeed, be better days ahead.

The Tradition of Storytelling in Something Unbelievable

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Over the course of Maria Kuznetsova’s second novel, out next week, we switch back and forth between the perspectives of a woman and her grandmother. In the process, we begin to understand how tightly the two women are connected, even as the lives they live are vastly different, and

Reading William Trevor’s “A Day” and Jamel Brinkley’s “Comfort”

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Brinkley’s story, written in response to Trevor’s, echoes the latter’s plot, characters, and structure, but in capturing its tone—a gentleness and a very light touch—the story transcends the original, its ending resonating with meaning.

Two Contemporary Retellings of The Playboy of the Western World

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John Millington Synge’s 1907 play is now a classic, examining, among other elements, the definition of a hero and the role of the community in that definition. Over a hundred years later, two contemporary novels, both set following the 2008 financial crisis, echo it in numerous ways.

Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel Moniz

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In this debut story collection, the reader feels the story in their body as they read; Moniz makes us look directly at the source of trauma in order to share the pain.

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.