Book Reviews Archive

Invisible Ink by Patrick Modiano

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What makes Modiano’s new novel such an enchanting read is its insistence on the importance of “those spaces where memory blurs into forgetting,” and its glyptic insights into the mechanisms by which forgetting offers up alternative chronologies . . .

Fugitive Atlas by Khaled Mattawa

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In poems that tenderly call us to action, Mattawa awakens readers to the human and geographical devastation wrought by the tendency to “other” people. Fugitive Atlas is a collaborative prayer for a shattered earth.

A Lover’s Discourse by Xiaolu Guo

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Xiaolu Guo’s new novel is a restless and mesmerizing portrait of the immigrant experience.

Little Big Bully by Heid E. Erdrich

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Heid E. Erdrich’s new collection is more than a healing of past wounds. Rather, it is remarkable precisely because it posits the act of speaking as liberatory practice, a difficult action that will project us into a different and less abusive future together.

Jack by Marilynne Robinson

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Robinson’s novels are like glaciers. They move slowly, but they leave behind a transformed landscape. In the vast and complex landscape of American novel-writing, Marilynne Robinson’s is a unique and indispensable terrain.

The Caretaker by Doon Arbus

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Doon Arbus’s debut is an enigmatic and necessary book, especially for those conflicted about the physical detritus accumulated over the course of a life.

Conjure by Rae Armantrout

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Conjure offers a magic of its own, with sly and unforgettable juxtapositions of the minute and the exceptional, elevated by the intellect, flair, and confidence of a poet at the top of her game.

Daddy by Emma Cline

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Emma Cline’s new collection investigates the shadier corners of the human experience, exploring the fault lines of power between men and women, parents and children, and the past and present. Cline deftly interrogates masculinity and the fates of broken relationships, examining violence on both a societal and personal level.

Sisters by Daisy Johnson

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Daisy Johnson’s new novel dissolves the borders between dreams and reality, presenting a radical portrait of identity. Rather than a constructed and fixed self, one that is as distinct as it is static, identity is fluid, multivalent, and porous: a person never stays themselves for long.

Many People Die Like You by Lina Wolff

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Lina Wolff’s new story collection, translated by Saskia Vogel, addresses death with morbid humor and oddity—flings, murders, and a DIY porn channel—and leaves us to stave off death with morbid hopefulness.