by Nathan Goldman

Memoirs of a Polar Bear – Yoko Tawada

Tawada opens a space of human-polar bear empathy and solidarity — amusing yet deeply serious.

Experimental Animals: A Reality Fiction – Thalia Field

By subordinating the male voices to a woman speaking to another woman, Field complicates the over-presence of the male voice in the history that Experimental Animals documents.

The Reactive – Masande Ntshanga

He is an HIV-positive person for whom HIV is operating, surely, as a metaphor.

Proxies: Essays Near Knowing – Brian Blanchfield

[Blanchfield] thus recalibrates the Cartesian cogito as a statement of uncertainty that lies at the basis of our being: I mistake, therefore I am.

Bird – Noy Holland

Holland’s language is dizzying, decadent, erotic.

The Force of What’s Possible – Lily Hoang & Joshua Marie Wilkinson

The avant-garde, in prizing the possible, is always asking about — everything. Possibility and asking: fundamentally, the two intertwine.

Made to Break – D. Foy

I did not read Made to Break: I traversed it; I imbibed it; I rode it, like a wine-dark wave.

Bark – Lorrie Moore

It is impossible to know how these stories will read in a decade or in ten, when the closing of Borders and the description of a character “waterboarding himself with a neti pot” may need to be explained in footnotes.

Leaving the Sea – Ben Marcus

The sequencing of the stories is perfect: Leaving the Sea, in its organic development, teaches the reader how to read it.

A Prayer Journal – Flannery O’Connor

“I would like to write a beautiful prayer,” O’Connor says in one radiant moment, “but I have nothing to do it from.”