Book Reviews Archive

Reading as Intoxicant, Part I: Neurochemical Qualities of the Modern Manic Page Peeler

Richard Wright once wrote that reading is like a drug. Countless other authors have written some variation of that same assertion. If you’ve ever found yourself crushed in a corner weeping like a crazy person because the end of your latest literary fixation was fast coming to a close,

Rehabbing the Southern Way of Life: On “The World’s Largest Man”

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At a cultural moment when it seems the Southern Way of Life needs some image rehab, the timing of Harrison Scott Key’s memoir of his Mississippi childhood is impeccable. The World’s Largest Man takes on the Southern masculine ideal, violence, race and more, all under the guise of amiable

Review: WHAT COMES NEXT AND HOW TO LIKE IT by Abigail Thomas

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What Comes Next and How to Like It Abigail Thomas Scribner, March 2015 240 pages Buy: book | ebook I was first introduced to Abigail Thomas’s work in grad school when I read Safekeeping: Some True Stories From a Life. Initially, I was startled by its economy of words,

The Must-Reads of Late Summer

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We all know the best thing to take with you on a summer vacation is a good book. Here are this August’s must-reads, begging to be read poolside or in the shade. Dragonfish Vu Tran Norton, August 3 $26.95 In his debut novel, Writing Award winner Vu Tran writes

Review: CHAMIQUE by Chamique Holdsclaw

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Chamique: On Family, Focus, and Basketball Chamique Holdsclaw with Jennifer Frey Scribner, 2000 189 pages Buy: ebook Much like Brittney Griner’s In My Skin, Chamique is a slapped-together memoir by a college basketball wunderkind, Chamique Holdsclaw, following the player’s uneven rookie year in the pros. Where In My Skin charmed with Griner’s honesty

Review: THIS IS THE HOMELAND by Mary Hickman

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This Is the Homeland Mary Hickman Ahsahta Press, May 2015 80 pages $18.00 Buy book Mary Hickman’s first volume of poetry begins dazzlingly with “Joseph and Mary,” a poem carved out of Joyce’s Ulysses. Whether this was done by dramatic erasure or by mosaic-like re-arrangement of fragments is hard to

“We licked the dictionary off each other’s faces” : Bhanu Kapil’s Humanimal: A Project for Future Children

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What’s wrong with being raised by wolves? In Humanimal: A Project for Future Childen, Bhanu Kapil investigates “the true story of Kamala and Amala, two girls found living with wolves in Bengal, India, in 1920” (ix). But unlike a crowd drawn to witness a re-enactment, Kapil’s book instead involves

Review: MR. AND MRS. DOCTOR by Julie Iromuanya

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Mr. and Mrs. Doctor Julie Iromuanya Coffee House Press, 2015 288 pages Buy: book | eBook Job Ogbonnaya is a liar—or, depending on your taste, a dreamer. After his brother Samuel dies in the Biafran war, Job becomes the hope of his family. They send him to school in

THE NEUTRAL CORNER: Nicholas Fox Weber’s “The Bauhaus Group”

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  The neutral corner is one of the two corners of the ring not used by boxers between rounds. It is also the corner a boxer must retreat to after he has floored his opponent. The Neutral Corner was also a bar in Saratoga Springs, New York, that I

“If I could I would cut off my lovers’ heads” : Eunice De Souza’s Nine Indian Women Poets

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“Anthologists invariably make enemies,” Eunice De Souza notes in her introduction to Nine Indian Women Poets. This anthology is unlike most anthologies, as De Souza takes up her editorial role to rally against universality, mapmaking, and flattery. De Souza isn’t seeking to make enemies, but she realizes that all