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Nicole Chung’s All You Can Ever Know

In a memoir about her transracial adoption, Nicole Chung tells the story of growing up as the only person of color in a white family and her search for some sense of understanding of her past.

Chelsea Hodson Dares Us to Desire

Being a writer—anywhere, but especially in New York—can be ugly, lonely work. Being a writer in New York means walking through identity after identity without the right props.

Shelley Jackson’s Riddance

Every once in a while a book comes along that merits special attention. Shelley Jackson’s Riddance; or, The Sybil Joines Vocational School for Ghost Speakers and Hearing-Mouth Children is one of those books.

The Dualities of Love and War

Shahriar Mandanipour’s Moon Brow celebrates both the otherness of a non-Western narrative and the raw openness that is the trademark of the modern story.

Well-Trained into This Savage Vista

Landscape with Sex and Violence is Lynn Melnick’s second book of poems. It arrives when the testimony of sexual assault is encoded into social media and a 24-hour news cycle.

The Aesthetic Animal

Both an academic and a professional dancer, Rohman is among a growing number of scholars working in the emerging field of bioaesthetics, an interdisciplinary undertaking that looks at art and aesthetics as biological phenomena.

Juxtapositions Across Languages: 3 by Poets & Traitors Press

That Poets & Traitors is giving voice to these translators and is essentially creating new art through the “dialogue” between the translation and translator is truly exciting.

Lydia Kiesling’s The Golden State

Daphne’s isolation in Altavista is deepened by a lack of WiFi, which makes it difficult for her to Skype with her husband. While at a café with WiFi, Daphne meets the ninety-plus Alice, who speaks some Turkish. Hearing her husband’s language encourages Daphne to reach out, and the women develop an awkward friendship; some of the only moments of adult intimacy in the novel. Alice’s grudging kindness and abrupt way of speaking make a great counterpoint to Daphne’s frenetic energy.

In Conversation

The Jazz of Life: BUD SMITH with Nicholas Rys

If you are reading literature online in 2018, you’re reading Bud Smith. And you should be. His work has been published by Hobart, Wigleaf, Smokelong Quarterly, and tons of other places. Aimee Bender selected his story, “Wolves,” for the Best Small Fictions anthology. His work in general, and especially in his new story collection Double Bird, published by Maudlin House, is tender and funny, deadpan but deeply serious.

Roy Scranton’s We’re Doomed. Now What? Essays on War and Climate Change

I first met Roy Scranton when he was at The New School. He was finishing up one degree on his way to more and I was an editor at the MFA program’s journal, LIT. He gave me a story to read that I loved so much I championed it and we ran it. This wasn’t some great victory—Scranton’s a great writer. His mastery of language is apparent from the first time you open of any of his books. So when I pitched this review to my editor I thought it would be a wholly enjoyable experience: reading a writer who understands language writing about the most pressing issue(s) of our time.

Ivelisse Rodriguez’s Love War Stories

The women in Ivelisse Rodriguez’s debut collection differ in age, opportunity, and background but all share one commonality: they want to believe in love. But in a culture where they are taught that to be in love, to be desired by a man, is paramount and that little else matters, it is difficult for any woman to survive. Rodriguez’s women (and one boy) are complex, well-wrought, but cannot teach us anything except perhaps how to believe in or to survive love. These nine stories present a complex, multifaceted, and somewhat connected narrative of Puerto Rican life.

In Conversation

MATTHEW VOLLMER with Evan Lavender-Smith

Matthew Vollmer’s latest book, Permanent Exhibit, is a collection of intimate, lyrical meditations that unfold according to the surprising associative leaps so often made by the human mind, but which, to my experience as a reader, rarely find their way into writing. The sentences meander and swerve and switchback from perception to recognition to recollection to speculation; the essays themselves, each composed of a single paragraph, capture the more gradual of the mind's movements, proceeding from a condition of certainty to uncertainty, of observation to hypothesis, of apathy to wonder.

In Conversation

Women and War Literature

Consequence Magazine is an annual journal dedicated to widening the conversation about the culture and consequences of war through the publication of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translations, and art. In narratives about international conflict, women writers—and writers who identify as women—are marginalized and grossly underrepresented—war literature is dominated by men and veterans. To mark its tenth anniversary, Consequence dedicated the 2018 issue to women, and those identifying as women, exploring the knotty issue of violence, conflict and the repercussions of war.

The Disappearing Acts of Refuse

How far do we look back when we see how far we’ve come? How far is too far, or is it ever far enough? And how long must we continue to look, if only to look at ourselves the way we would wish to be looked by others? Julian Randall’s debut collection, Refuse (University of Pittsburgh Press), is both the abnegation and elegy of its title, but it is also an avowal: an unabashed testament to existence, to being alive, to survival in the face of a world that would wish to ignore you, reduce you, or stamp you out. 


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2018

All Issues