Before Francis Levy launches into the narrative proper of Seven Days in Rio, a hundred-odd-page bromide-heavy sexual fantasia, an authors note appeals its case to the reader in a rare, self-conscious nod to the works guilelessly inflammatory inclinations; its tack is less conciliatory than defensive, with the vague hint of a threat.
Monsters are anomalies of ferocity and size, beings whose grotesque appetites and malformations run wild and contrary to the harmonies of nature. Their scales, claws, fangs, and wings terrify and fascinate. We flee them, but are drawn to them.
I met with Rebecca Wolff for lunch at Le Pain Quotidien in Chelsea where we talked about her novel, The Beginners, a gothic coming-of-age tale set in a small town.
The introduction to Fantastic Women describes this 18-story collection, all by women writers, as a flowering of the surrealist literary movement, and the description is unfortunate. Lovers of fantasy and science fiction may assume the book isnt for them, and the marker fantastic may scare off a more mainstream audience.
People say postmodern novels can be read in more than one way, and Joanna Gundersons new She, due to its quirky collage technique, proves this with a vengeance.
It is 1999 in South Boston, and the streets leading to tragedy are paved with memories of tears and ghosts. In Edward J. Delaneys second novel we meet six residents varying in age, temperament, and voice, all on separate paths, some of which are seemingly destined to collide.
Karen Valby has done what I’ve always wanted to do: live in a small rural town; and has confirmed what I’ve always suspected: life in a small town is as terrible and perfect as life anywhere else.
In a no-frills manner, Rusty Barnes bestows upon us Mostly Redneck (Sunny Outside Press, 2011). Editor of Night Train Magazine, a historied journal respected as a propulsion board for flash fiction writers, Barness editorial taste is a leap from the flash pieces in his recent collection.
Hard not to like these talky, breathless, abbreviated love songs. Let me sing. Yes I have done wrong dang it. / Its how to teach light and turning moving on.
Hundreds of translators have sought to render the Divine Comedy with relevance, force, and verve. Its no easy task, but with a new translation of Dantes Inferno, this is exactly what Mary Jo Bang aims to do. From all I have seen, Bangs version is unlike anything that has come before.