Author Archive

Becoming an Art Monster

“Of course pretending to be a regular girl is monstrous—as monstrous as not writing, and as monstrous as being a mother who takes some time to herself to write, as I am doing now.”

Weasels in the Attic’s Exploration of Parenthood

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The newest book by Hiroko Oyamada, published in English translation by David Boyd earlier this month, teems with tropical fish and its eponymous weasels, whose lives and deaths reveal the precariousness of parenthood and family.

Tana French’s Investigation of Self and Home

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“Since late summer, I’ve been reading Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad novels for the first time, and what fascinates me about them is the relationship between self and place—specifically self and home—French’s novels explore.”

Dreadful Sorry’s Exploration of American Nostalgia

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Dispelling the haze of American nostalgia matters, and Jennifer Niesslein shows how it can be done, particularly by those of us who are white—and that, after it is stripped of sentimentality, nostalgia can be a force that drives us to make a beloved place better.

The Real and the Unreal in Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century

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The interplay of fantasy and reality in Kim Fu’s stories represents a yearning, through fantasies, technologies, and dreams, for the divine.

Wintering

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In wintering, can I retreat without completely dissociating from the world beyond the walls of my apartment? Katherine May, in her 2020 book of the same name, shows some ways of doing so.

Beasts of a Little Land’s Exploration of Survival

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Juhea Kim’s debut novel tells about the years of Japanese rule in Korea—years of sometimes brutal oppression, starvation, and resistance—and its demise and aftermath. Through the novel’s omniscient third-person narrator, we see what each of these characters is willing to risk or sacrifice, whether for survival or some other

Storytelling in New York, My Village

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Uwem Akpan’s story of an Annang narrator working in the “white bubble” of New York publishing is a story about storytelling—and not just the stories that make it past the gatekeepers to publication, but also the stories that are passed along in the conversations, letters, phone calls, photographs, and

Katie Kitamura’s Explorations of Separation

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Katie Kitamura’s most recent novels are like mirror images: though their titles suggest that their subjects are opposing themes—separation in one and intimacy in the other—both novels show how our lives are bound up in the lives of others, including those from whom we wish to separate.

Edge Case’s Exploration of Our “True” Nature

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YZ Chin’s debut novel, which includes tales of past lives and accounts for the apparently radical transformations of both the narrator and her husband, suggests that our nature is neither fixed nor fathomable.