Book Reviews Archive

Must I Go by Yiyun Li

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Though Yiyun Li’s new novel contains the sketchy architecture of an intergenerational, historical novel, its rooms and stories remain more conceptual than actual . . . . Husbands and wives are easily swapped. The defiant workings of memory are more important than memories themselves. Lives are annotated rather than

Pew by Catherine Lacey

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Catherine Lacey’s new novel questions what people are willing to do to protect their perceptions of peace. The answers may not be surprising, but when history is an endless horror show, why should we expect any different? What good is grace when people give it to themselves?

Miracle Country by Kendra Atleework

Atleework’s memoir is steeped in her passion for California’s Owens Valley and her striking observations. It reveals a life defined by an absence, and Atleework points us to the power in this understanding.

True Love by Sarah Gerard

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Gerard’s novel is a fascinating read for anyone looking to understand the world we’ll inhabit when the smoke of the Trump era clears—in particular, the world that’s being left to young people.

Of Color by Jaswinder Bolina

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Bolina’s collection explores the complicated ground of being “of color,” being an immigrant, being American, and being human with an admirable fluency. He entrusts us with an honest conversation—one that we should all be having with one other.

Ha Seong-nan’s Bluebeard’s First Wife

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Ha is invested not in the myth itself but in what it helps us see. In her hands, the fairy-tale works as a photo filter, bringing into clearer relief her actual subject: the horrors of daily contemporary life.

A Burning by Megha Majumdar

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Megha Majumdar’s debut novel forces us to see the inequities in the world, and the way desire for freedom is so often thwarted.

Minor Detail by Adania Shibli

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Shibli is a deft chronicler of the blinkering of life wrought by oppressive regimes, the way their manifold codes and proscriptions tighten around perception like a coil of barbed wire.

Brown Album: Essays on Exile and Identity by Porochista Khakpour

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Porochista Khakpour’s essay collection is a fearless reflection of an immigrant searching for home and for herself.

Quotients by Tracy O’Neill

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Does information protect or imprison us? Tracy O’Neill’s highly-anticipated second novel—part suspense story, part relationship drama and part commentary on the perils of our interconnected epoch—explores a world in which the truth is hard to determine, and even harder to prove.