The Root of Passing in The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

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Honorée Fanonne Jeffers’s sweeping epic engages with a richness of Black life and history far beyond her characters’ proximity to whiteness alone. By tracing the African American experience back to its roots, she has created a canon-worthy work that exposes the complexity of color and the deep wounds passing

Death Rituals and Found Families in Olivia Clare Friedman’s Here Lies

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The natural world is a member of the found family of Friedman's protagonist, and a character she gets to know over the course of the novel. As the world around her is collapsing, she is left to address what still matters.

Revisiting The Intuitionist

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Colson Whitehead’s first book is a complex story that takes an authoritative point of view within a deeply imagined world.

Personal and Academic Pursuits in Elaine Hsieh Chou’s Disorientation

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Elaine Hsieh Chou’s debut is not only an outrageously enjoyable academic mystery, but also a moving portrayal of self-discovery.

Alice Arden of Faversham and Women’s Interest in True Crime

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Sixteenth century literature provides a compelling explanation for women’s engagement with true crime: in many cases, it portrays women in control, rather than victims, of violence.

Chaos and Meaning in Ocker

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Humans derive pleasure in finding order within disorder. We seek out patterns and meaning, even when there is none to be found. P. Inman’s 1982 book, through its performance of an open and chaotic writing system, calls our attention back to how heavy this burden of meaning can become.

Privileging Survivors’ Voices

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Books by M. Evelina Galang, Emily Jungmin Yoon, and Kim Soom fill critical gaps in the public’s understanding of World War II rape camps run by the Imperial Japanese Army—euphemistically referred to as “comfort stations.”

Visual and Literary Representation in White on White

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Ayşegül Savas’s 2021 novel is less an act of purification than a challenge to the reader to accept art on its own terms as an achievement of presence. It frames each reading, each act of looking, as an act of faith.

Decay and Rebirth in Irene Solà’s When I Sing, Mountains Dance

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Irene Solà reveals the beauty and brutality of life in a mountain village that holds the scars of the past, but also the seeds of slow repair and renewal.

Blessed Cat Jeoffry

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In conversation with Christopher Smart’s “My Cat Jeoffry,” Elena Passarello’s “Jeoffry” is an empathetic duet that reaches both forward and back with gentle humor and sparking wit, a perfect companion against the dark.