Book Reviews Archive

Disaster Capitalism in Birnam Wood

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No generation is immune from the Birnam Wood's ire. Idealistic millennials are frauds, Gen X-ers are technocratic looters, Boomers are oblivious resource hoarders. Yet it’s not just the premise that everyone is fatally flawed that generates such intense and oppressive pessimism; rather, it’s that everyone in the novel is

Endless Grief in Gerardo Sámano Córdova’s Monstrilio

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Sámano Córdova asks readers to imagine cheating death even for a little bit, even if we know it will all go wrong, even if we know the second grief can only be worse.

Knowing and Not Knowing in Italo Calvino’s The Written World and the Unwritten World

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A new collection of Italo Calvino’s nonfiction provides the reader with a deep sense of the range of Calvino’s interests and his open-minded approach to what constitutes art, as well as the pleasure it incites in him.

The Depth of Memory in Nona Fernández’s Voyager

The essays in Fernández’s collection weave from the personal to the profound, from the historical to the mystical, from the scientific to the spiritual. The book has one fundamental message: to hold the past is what makes us human.

Constant Contradictions in Nazlı Koca’s The Applicant

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With its clipped, direct sentences and its abundance of resonant questions, long and short, Koca’s prose mirrors this narrative doubleness—giving readers an experience that is both irresistibly consumable yet compellingly durable.

Throwing Bodies in Mariana Enríquez’s Our Share of Night

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Mariana Enríquez moves past a superficial top layer of social commentary as quickly as possible to embroil the reader in the true horror at the core of her epic: the responsibility foisted upon those who inherit the history to watch the horrible truth slowly come to light.

Songwriting and Poetry in Sadie Dupuis’s Cry Perfume

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Sadie Dupuis’s poems read like they would make interesting songs. These would be songs not of the finger-picked, delicately confessional coffee-house sort, though, but of the spikily asymmetrical, disjunctive sort, with guitar solos that sound like automobile accidents.

The Perils of Freedom in How to Turn into a Bird

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How to Turn into a Bird María José Ferrada Tin House | December 6, 2022 Ramón, the protagonist in How to Turn into a Bird, is not like the others. He left his job working long hours at the factory. He no longer lives within the thin walls of

Inhabiting Past Ancestors in Animal Life

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Animal Life is a subtle and stunning work for anyone who has felt the impact of an ancestor, who has lost themselves to a past that feels like their own.

A Fierce Feminist Take on the Troubles in Factory Girls

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Michelle Gallen’s novel enriches the Troubles narrative with a fierce cast of young women determined to reject the violence of their youth.