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Anna Wainwright

Anna Wainwright is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor.

NONFICTION: Atomic Childhood

Kelly McMasters’s haunting new memoir, Welcome to Shirley, tells the story of a small Long Island community struggling with the unseen poison showered on their suburb by the nearby Brookhaven National Laboratory. It is a tragic, at times horrific tale—yet McMasters manages, with great grace and introspection, to deliver an eminently readable book of hope and strength.

FICTION: The Storyteller

It sometimes seems as though Paul Auster is trying to single-handedly keep the literary tradition of mise en abyme alive. His latest novel, Man in the Dark, offers readers another story within a story about a writer’s dependence on his own creations, and his subjection to their whims and fancies.


In “How to Think Like Leonardo Da’vinci,” a word “drawing” from Johannah Rodgers’s new book Sentences, the author speaks of “fitting one’s life to a narrative.” On a first reading, Sentences seems essentially narrative—less.

Fiction: Love the Bomb

Malcolm Macpherson’s new novel, Hocus Potus, a brave and successful attempt at absurd realism. Labeled “the Catch 22 of the Iraq War” by Melville House, the novel resembles more of a Dr. Strangelove, blending fantasy with the stark apocalyptic reality of a nation at war at home and abroad.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2020

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