Karl Ove Knausgaard's SummerBy Robert Blaisdell
How come Knausgaard can concentrate his attention on seemingly anything in the world and deftly uncover the dances and dodges of mind and feeling?
Laura Esther Wolfson's For Single Mothers Working as Train ConductorsBy Lily Majteles
aura Esther Wolfson’s literary debut For Single Mothers Working As Train Conductors is a thrilling and honest collection of personal essays spanning many years, countries, jobs, and relationships.
Tommy Orange's There ThereBy Yvonne C. Garrett
When Margaret Atwood, Marlon James, and Louise Erdrich rave about a book before its release, it had better live up to the hype and Tommy Orange’s debut, There There very much does.
William T. Vollmann’s Carbon IdeologiesBy Jacob Singer
William T. Vollmann’s two-volume set, Carbon Ideologies: No Immediate Danger and No Good Alternative, combines journalism, research, and philosophy in a way that has become synonymous with his nonfiction.
Porochista Khakpour's SickBy Deena ElGenaidi
The Iranian American writer, who fled Iran with her parents as a toddler, describes the physical and mental struggles shes undergone for years, lasting to this day.
Tsitsi Dangarembga’s This Mournable BodyBy John Domini
Zimbabwe's social fabric has often been in shreds, the worst toll often taken on the women: an ongoing catastrophe that provides the best background for appreciating the novels of Tsitsi Dangarembga
Donna Masini’s 4:30 MovieBy Tony Leuzzi
Some movies allow us to escape the otherwise inescapable realities of our lives. Others remind or inform us of experiences removed from our own. Still others provide a language and imagery that help articulate personal struggle. While all of these functions are evidenced in Donna Masinis resonant new collection 4:30 Movie, the last is most central to the poets conception.
NEW WORLD POSTCOLONIAL: JAMES W. FUERST with Juan E. De Castro
The Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (1539 1616) is an iconic figure in Peru, where soccer teams, stadiums, city streets, and a universityare named after him, and more generally throughout Latin America, where he is often seen as a founding figure of the regions literary and cultural tradition, although he is hardly known in North America.
Maggie Nelson's Something Bright, Then HolesBy Elizabeth Block
If I crashed—shuddered by whiplash—boat wrecked and abandoned on a deserted island, and I had to choose only one author’s texts with which to spend my days, that author would be Maggie Nelson.
BLAIR HURLEY with Olivia Kate Cerrone
The Devoted, Blair Hurley’s stunning literary debut, pushes the boundaries of the traditional coming-of-age novel, offering instead a haunting, provocative tale of self-discovery and transformation in the fallout of exploitation and devastating loss.
STEVE ALMOND with Curt Smith
I felt like Bad Stories was the kind of book I needed to talk about, one that put the political angst of these past two years under the microscope and gave me the chance to better understand the roots of a narrative so haywire and vicious that it sometimes overwhelms my reserves of logic.
TIMOTHY LIU with Tony Leuzzi
The first book I ever read by Timothy Liu was Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry (Talisman House, 2000).
The Delicious Unease of A Lesser DayBy Aimee Parkinson
Andrea Scrima’s brilliant debut novel, A Lesser Day (Spuyten Duyvil), creates a realistic psychological portrait of an artist’s life by describing vivid fragmented “snapshot” memories of five settings the artist once inhabited.
DALE PECK with Christine Sang
n Dale Peck’s novel, Night Soil, Judas plows through men, his mother, and his family’s past to unearth his own identity from the disintegration of truth found in his mother’s pots, his grandfather’s legacy, nature preserves, and the mine that financed it all on the backs of slaves.
Alistair McCartney's The DisintegrationsBy Tim Horvath
In his debut novel, The End of the World Book(2008), which took on the form of an encyclopedia, sandwiched between topics such as “Diana’s Wedding” and “Mad Cow Disease,” Alistair McCartney offered an entry on “Death.”
Assimilation as Disappearing Act: José Olivarez's Citizen IllegalBy Chris Campanioni
If one purpose or promise of poetry is the reinvention of myth then we need to start by rethinking our own origin stories, the names we use and the ways we are represented and the ways in which we represent our community.
Susan Shapiro’s The Byline BibleBy Matt Grant
The Byline Bible is not another manual on how to write. Instead, it’s something much more sorely needed: a manual on how to get paid as a writer.
Welcome to LagosBy Yvonne C. Garrett
Welcome to Lagos has been described as comic by some reviewers but aside from a few slapstick-esque moments and some sharply funny critique of English race relations, it reads as modern African tragedy.