Book Reviews Archive

Homo Irrealis by André Aciman

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By daring to call forth the irrealis mood, to summon what we usually skitter around and stumble upon, Aciman sets the mood—incurring the awkwardness of doing so, and giving us the chance to realize something it might take a long time to understand.

The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata by Gina Apostol

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Gina Apostol’s novel, which demands the reader’s active participation, is filled with both humorous and serious moments, references to itself, as well as political and literary history.

The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington

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Leonora Carrington’s novel revels in inconclusive ideas, surreal reimagining’s, and the peculiarities of human consciousness . . . The novel eludes any whiff of definitiveness, instead layering ideas and questions atop one another like blocks in a Jenga tower. Naturally, Carrington forces the reader to withdraw the first block.

Rest and Be Thankful by Emma Glass

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Emma Glass’s stunning second novel is a cautionary tale, revealing the great personal cost that comes with caring for the sick and vulnerable.

Peach Blossom Paradise by Ge Fei

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Excerpt: For those who are willing to submerge in an intricate and linguistically sumptuous story, Ge Fei’s new novel offers a rewarding world to explore.

The Age of Skin by Dubravka Ugrešić

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Dubravka Ugrešić a formidable and unique cultural critic. She demands that we see deeper, even where we refuse to look.

Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino by Julián Herbert

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Herbert’s new collection is an ambitious, generous boon . . . his parody of Tarantino’s style and MacSweeney’s lively translation chart unmarked territory.

Invisible Ink by Patrick Modiano

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What makes Modiano’s new novel such an enchanting read is its insistence on the importance of “those spaces where memory blurs into forgetting,” and its glyptic insights into the mechanisms by which forgetting offers up alternative chronologies . . .

Fugitive Atlas by Khaled Mattawa

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In poems that tenderly call us to action, Mattawa awakens readers to the human and geographical devastation wrought by the tendency to “other” people. Fugitive Atlas is a collaborative prayer for a shattered earth.

A Lover’s Discourse by Xiaolu Guo

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Xiaolu Guo’s new novel is a restless and mesmerizing portrait of the immigrant experience.