Book Reviews Archive

Inheriting Tramua in How to Not Be Afraid of Everything

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Jane Wong’s new poetry collection suggests that historical trauma does not evaporate between generations—its traces leak into the bones of the children, and even of the grandchildren . . . A triumph of formal ingenuity.

The Wilderness of Language in Atsuro Riley’s Heard-Hoard

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In the collection, language, like nature, is elemental—a way of speaking and being in the world . . . Riley’s inventiveness is an invitation to notice language’s connection to the natural world.

Unending American Horror in The Trees

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Percival Everett’s new novel explores our nationwide web of racist violence, and makes us realize there will never be enough deliberation on these horrors.

Sandra Lim’s Rigorous Thinking in The Curious Thing

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Sandra Lim is a poet whose straightforward yet daring intelligence demands a reader keep up. The poems in her third book evoke a mind constantly examining itself and the world it occupies.

Soothing Existential Dread in Beautiful World, Where Are You

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Sally Rooney’s talent lies in her ability to capture millennial existentialism and dread while almost simultaneously soothing it—the experience of finding one’s own anxieties articulated so precisely on the page feels like a balm.

Finding Oneself in Three Rooms

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Jo Hamya’s debut novel is an invitation to reflect not only on where we house our bodies, but also our attention.

Seeking Meaning and Survival in Something Wonderful

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Jo Lloyd’s story collection ripples with intelligence and heart . . . she writes brilliantly about both the past and present, locating humanity’s most elemental anxieties in misbegotten characters who want, above all else, to find a way to keep living.

Finding Home in Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint’s Names for Light

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Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint’s new memoir is a poetic love letter to the people who make us who we are, and a reminder of the difficulty some face to find one’s way home.

The Illusion of Progress in American Estrangement by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

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Saïd Sayrafiezadeh’s new story collection offers a reality uncanny to ours today.

Matthew Specktor’s Tender Ode to Failure in Always Crashing in the Same Car

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Matthew Specktor’s memoir is an intimate investigation of one man’s imperfect life.