Book Reviews Archive

Exploring “Withoutness” in Solmaz Sharif’s Customs

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Solmaz Sharif’s language is spare and all the more sharp for what remains. Her poems explore “withoutness” in one’s history, and it’s through that withoutness that this collection takes shape, revealing an enormity of presence, of emotion, and of meaning.

States of Unknowing in Paul Tran’s All the Flowers Kneeling

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Tran’s poems are an antidote to a world that asks us to prioritize progress over reflection, mastery over ambiguity. Their collection is a necessary reminder that states of unknowing, too, are fruitful.

Disconnect and Dissuasion in Ella Baxter’s New Animal

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Ella Baxter’s debut novel is a raw, unflinching look at the aftermath of grief.

Unraveling Reality in Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century

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Each story feels like a potential episode of Black Mirror, exploring futuristic technology and the dangerous hold it has on all of us. Fu present us with the following question: while technology has added many conveniences to our lives, should we accept it? Should we push back for the

The Forming of a Self in Claudia Durastanti’s Strangers I Know

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Claudia Durastanti’s English debut is a flame held up to the inexpressible self.

A Feeling of Belonging in Bernardine Evaristo’s Manifesto

Evaristo’s memoir shows how one writer found her place in the world through storytelling, giving artists a roadmap to a deeper understanding of their own lives through the act of creating.

Displacements and Digressions in Saša Stanišić’s Where You Come From

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In Saša Stanišić’s impressive and touching novel, digressions are the journey, as we too move through make-your-own-adventure lives, in which where you are from, and even where you are going, are of transient import.

Blank Canvases and Self Portraits in White on White

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In her second novel, Ayşegül Savaş goes deep into the human experience, beautiful and fraught, delivering a renewed perception of what it means to be a person among other people.

Pleasurable Disorientation in Lee Young-ju’s Cold Candies

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The experience of reading Lee Young-ju’s collection is to find oneself suspended in an unfamiliar zone, and the disorientation is pleasurable.

Withholding and Revealing in Lily King’s Five Tuesdays in Winter

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Lily King’s new story collection drops readers into imperfect lives, evoking awe and anger and admiration and futility, reminding us how it feels to be human.