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Shokoofeh Azar’s The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree

Which version counts as the truth? That dangerous term? Plainly, Azar would answer both, arguing that the Old Gods still hold value, “still alive and reacting,” even as she recognizes how “mysticism didn’t offer any simple solutions to murder, plunder, poverty, or human injustice.”

In Conversation

JOHN GALLAHER with Tony Leuzzi

“I want language to approximate the kind of conversation one might have some evening, talking about real things, serious things, but not feeling especially dire, and the talking is happening just as one’s thinking about it, so that the thought and the expression of the thought are happening simultaneously.”

In Conversation


I’ve always had exposure to the farm and to farmers. They’ve always been part of my life. I never thought of the farm as a project until maybe 15 years ago, when I was sitting in the Quonset hut with my family, and the farmers were coming in and out, and I thought, wow, nobody writes about this.

In Conversation

ELAINE KAHN with Rachel Rabbit White

I rely almost entirely on the thin veil of “the speaker” or “the artist” to protect me from the hazard of disclosure. It’s what allows me to, for instance, stand in front of my mother and read a poem in which “the speaker” chokes on someone's hair while getting throatfucked.

Emily St. John Mandel’s The Glass Hotel

There is a complex grace to The Glass Hotel that’s often lacking from contemporary fiction, particularly contemporary thriller fiction. It’s not simply Mandel’s deft prose, her ability to write Dickensian networks of coincidence, but her keen observation of human behavior: our fears, our dreams, what drives us, and what might ultimately destroy or save each of us.

Samuele F.S. Pardini’s In The Name of The Mother

Using his sharpened tools of literary criticism and theory, Pardini works through novels, movies, and music and shows how, in the days before the (still incomplete) assimilation of Italian Americans into “white” culture, a constellation of writers, intellectuals, musicians, and activists in both communities found rewarding interpenetrations of their constructed identities.

Talking to My Sons about Varoufakis—and the Economy

Disgusted with the technical jargon of economists, the ups and downs of the economy, and “its forces [that] make a mockery of our democracies”; his purpose was to explain the functioning of the capitalist economy to his daughter in a logical common sense, critical approach and pose the possibility of making the world a better place.

Mary South’s You Will Never Be Forgotten

These 10 stories focus on a variety of unrelated characters grappling with loss, violence, sexual jealousy, and the terrible ways technology can be wielded in a data-dependent world.


The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2020

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