Book Reviews Archive

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.

Self-Editing in Hermione Hoby’s Virtue

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Hermione Hoby’s new novel beautifully explores the temptation to define yourself by other people’s expectations, and the risks of losing yourself in relationships where you don’t belong.

Intergenerational Love and Oppression in Sunjeev Sahota’s China Room

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Sunjeev Sahota’s new novel creates a dance between power and powerlessness, showing how one generation seeks to repair the deep wounds and injustices inflicted on preceding generations.

Visualizing Loneliness in Kristen Radtke’s Seek You

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Using the strengths of the graphic medium, Kristen Radtke conveys how loneliness feels by portraying what it looks like.

Cruel Compassion in Zülfü Livaneli’s Disquiet

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The characters in Zülfü Livaneli’s Disquiet cross borders, enter lives, and make real distant traumas for those whose only knowledge of the Syrian Civil War is from headlines.

Confronting the Past in Elias Rodriques’s Debut Novel

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Rodriques examines what it is to reconsider male friendship in adulthood, to balance newfound beliefs and acceptances.

Reinventing Loss in The Vault

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Cerpa navigates the helplessness of trying to express what is inexpressible amid the cruel accrual of despair.

The Allure of Scapegoating in Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch

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In her new novel, Rivka Galchen explores insidious philosophical terrain with incisive intellect and humor, once again proving herself to be one of contemporary fiction’s sharpest minds.

Skewering Workplace Racism in The Other Black Girl

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The driving pulse of Zakiya Harris’s debut novel is a sharp critique of the publishing industry’s lack of diversity.

Bad People and Bad Dreams in A Door Behind a Door

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Yelena Moskovich’s novel is loose, dreamy, and symbol-packed. Characters morph and become nightmarish versions of themselves, and it is unclear if the transformation is real or only a bad dream.