Reviews

Multiple Choice – Alejandro Zambra

Coherence and logic are not inherent to human experience. Life is paratactic. Causality, the root of arguments and anguish, is the product of a rigorous and motivated training.

Style – Dolores Dorantes

Where is violence manufactured? What styles allow and encourage our conditioning, our reproducing? How to be in systems that place you in permanent states of negation?

A Country Road, A Tree – Jo Baker

At the four big Beckett questions that have long beguiled Beckettians, Baker’s novel takes discerning throws at three.

The Reactive – Masande Ntshanga

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

The Association of Small Bombs – Karan Mahajan

Both this novel and its readers deserve better than this easy image of terrorist as sexual brute.

Among Strange Victims – Daniel Saldaña París

What does it mean to participate in a literature wherein novels and writers are described, as José Donoso laments in The Boom, as “too cosmopolitan, too intellectual . . . absolutely not what is expected from a Spanish American novelist”?

Revulsion: Thomas Bernhard in San Salvador – Horacio Castellanos Moya

The novel reveals as much about Bernhard’s style as it does about Salvadoran society.

The Hatred of Poetry – Ben Lerner

Lerner notes the many things his book doesn’t do, perhaps succeeding by suggesting a potential better book. But it still doesn’t do them.

Ladivine – Marie NDiaye

Into this web of familial discontent and uncertainty enter those mysterious dogs.

The Sky Isn’t Blue – Janice Lee

This is Bachelard for the age of the digital memory, the confessional Bachelard.

The Reactive – Masande Ntshanga

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

The Lightkeepers – Abby Geni

The same non-intervention the biologists practice on the island — not to leave a human mark on the fragile ecosystem and thus to merely observe, even when a baby animal is dying and could be saved by a small push in the right direction — is extended towards each other.

Multiple Choice – Alejandro Zambra

Coherence and logic are not inherent to human experience. Life is paratactic. Causality, the root of arguments and anguish, is the product of a rigorous and motivated training.

Style – Dolores Dorantes

Where is violence manufactured? What styles allow and encourage our conditioning, our reproducing? How to be in systems that place you in permanent states of negation?