John Domini's latest book is MOVIEOLA!. In early 2019, he'll publish his fourth novel, The Color Inside a Melon.
FEB 2018 | Books
Paging through Daša Drndić’s Belladonna, you can’t miss the lists of the dead. Twice during the later going, the text interrupts itself for page after page of names, in smaller-font double-columns. Names of the murdered, to be sure: victims of the Holocaust.
MAY 2018 | Books
Not only does Dubravka Ugresic’s novel appear in translation; you could say it’s about translation. The latest from a busy, brainy Croatian—her 14th book, half of them fiction—Fox consists primarily of worrying at various texts, though not all of them are literary.
JUNE 2018 | Books
In her debut novel, Animals Eat Each Other, Elle Nash has no interest in testing boundaries; instead, she crashes right through.
NOV 2018 | Books
Hades, Gehenna, Hell: every culture has one, a realm of punishment without end. By any name, too, it’s been inspiration without end. For creative types, the Awful Place allows awesome freedom.
JUNE 2017 | Books
Both these texts expand the mind, taking the reading experience to places most never risk. One, Dreamlives of Debris, gets up into rarified air indeed, cleansing the system. As for The Gift, that’s perhaps less bracing, but always tangy and whip-smart. Before I explain further, however, I’ve got to look back half a century.
OCT 2017 | Books
The most notable risk is the cutting-edge contemporaneity. The denouement of Golden House unfolds pretty much at the moment we read it, in later 2017, and its tragic climax the previous fall has a lot to do with the tragedy of the last election.
FEB 2016 | Books
Few writers can match the bifurcated careerbifurcated yet brimfulof Frank Lentricchia. Starting at the end of the 1960s, as a professor at Duke, Lentricchia established himself as a literary critic of muscle and subtlety.
JUNE 2016 | Books
If the expression “natural-born storyteller” hasn’t yet gone to the glue factory, then these two novels take the nag out for a fresh canter. Grace is a début for Natashia Deón, whose credentials include a PEN Fellowship, and while Allison Amend has three earlier books, and some prize recognition, she’s still young enough to have whipped up something new for Enchanted Islands.
DEC 16-JAN 17 | Books
You might call D. Foy’s Patricide a long and sorrowful aria over abuse in the home and its lingering damage; or you might call it a portrait of the scuffling white male, here in the U.S., detailing their recent tumble from King of the Mountain; or then again, it may be a scuzzball spiritual journey, Siddhartha Goes to AA, in which multiple addictions shred a young man almost to bits before he staggers to a kind of Buddhist enlightenment.
MAY 2015 | Books
Amelia Grays Gutshot bristles in the best way. Just about every prick and sting compels you to seek more, to take up the next storygingerlyand the next. Indeed, the authors second set of short fiction represents an advance for her in its size alone.
OCT 2015 | Books
Lincoln Michel has brought off a worthy debut in Upright Beasts, a rowdy klatch of stories with a number of winners. The fictions leave their most beautiful bruises about halfway through, as the author swings without a hitch from the relative realism of the section titled “North American Mammals” to the stories collected under “Familiar Creatures,” each of them a wild narrative hair.
FEB 2014 | Books
Over the past decade, in our finer quarterlies, few names have turned up more often than Jacob M. Appel. You also found him among the finalists for awards in the short storyand among the prize-winners. I myself once floundered in Appels wake, merely a finalist while he was the finalist.
JUL-AUG 2014 | Books
Texas may be the southernmost point in the U.S., but it gets awfully cold. The chill pervades Larry McMurtrys best novels, like The Last Picture Show (1966), in which the biting winds may carry away a young mans soul. The same threat hangs over Brandon Hobsons new slip of a novel, Deep Ellum.
NOV 2014 | Books
First encounter with Blake Butlers new novel may leave you dazzled, yet also disoriented, and if so youll find a point of reckoning in Roberto Bolanos 2666.
OCT 2013 | Books
The Traymore Rooms, a novel at once hugely ambitious and never above an off-color crack, aspires to be the late triumph of a long career.
FEB 2018 | Books
“I saw within myself,” admits our narrator, “a kind of ignorance that grew deeper the more I looked at it.” Sounds about right for his novel, too: the more deeply Vengeance draws us in—really, it’s hard to look away—the greater its ambiguity.
JUNE 2018 | Books
Among the many shocks and felicities in Joshua Mensch’s Because, one of the best is his way with a semi-colon.
SEPT 2018 | Books
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
MAR 2017 | Books
For a story beset with some of the ugliest traumas of fractured contemporary America, Mary Troy’s busy new novel careens along with remarkable lightheartedness.
JUNE 2017 | Books
For much of his career, on many of his books, one of the country’s most celebrated novelists confined his bio to a single line: “Don DeLillo lives in New York.” That was it, and more recently, as I dug into connections between the man’s work and his native city, I often suspected I wasn’t offering much better.
DEC 17-JAN 18 | Books
Gay Talese tells me it feels strange not to begin a Monday morning in “the Bunker.” By this he means his Manhattan workspace.
APR 2016 | Books
It can look as if the poet Campbell McGrath is moving away from his strengths, in his new “Hubble Space Telescope: the Galaxies (1990).” Indeed, the piece appears in a book, XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century, about which you might say the same.
NOV 2016 | Books
I can’t deny the spell cast by Swing Time, Zadie Smith’s latest. I can’t hold back from declaring it first a career peak, one she’ll be hard-pressed to top, and beyond that a steep challenge for any novelist out there.
APR 2015 | Books
Over in Italy, Time Ages In a Hurry was one of a spate of Antonio Tabucchi titles preceding his death in early 2012. He wasnt that old, 68, but hed long been battling cancer, and in his last year friends and family moved him from Siena, where he taught, to Lisbon, the home of his heart.
JUL-AUG 2015 | Books
For a form defined by length, the novel depends remarkably on what it leaves out. Even a novelist who prefers to let the weeds go, a Proust or a Wallace, has to prune away a few.
DEC 15-JAN 16 | Books
Here we have two new selections of stories from two New Yorkers, both on smaller presses, both by men we might still call young. More significantly, both refract their light through the same aesthetic prismoften throwing off lovely colors, I must add.
MAY 2014 | Books
In Theories of Forgetting, Lance Olsens 12th novel and 25th book, he may have brought off the boldest departure of a career dedicated to such takeoffs. The formatting allows the text to be read in either direction, each featuring different fonts.
SEPT 2014 | Books
About halfway along, just as were getting the hang of Luke Goebels wild and voluble debutnot so much a novel as a narrative kaleidoscope, putting a few essential shapes and colors through one tumble after anotherwe arrive at a whole new configuration. We come to the peyote trip.
JUL-AUG 2013 | Books
A bristling yet alluring doohickey, ostensibly about a week away from the workaday world, Gabe Durhams Fun Camp also signals the end for one of American publishings finest escapes from the ordinary.