Reviews

The Memory Police – Yoko Ogawa

That there should be such ambiguity between perpetrator and victim is, it seems, part of the tragedy of totalitarianism: one can fully escape neither victimhood nor complicity.

My Seditious Heart – Arundhati Roy

[Arundhati Roy] sees her political writing as an extension of her literary work and her identity as a writer — there is no “activist” in her separate from her writer self — which is perhaps also a comment on the false limits we tend to put on fiction.

Until Stones Become Lighter Than Water – António Lobo Antunes

This new book demonstrates Lobo Antunes’ trajectory as a novelist, which could be described as a gradual broadening of scope, an attempt to incorporate more and more diverse voices into his fictions.

The Book of X – Sarah Rose Etter

Etter’s novel is about embodiment, yes, but it is also about mood, about a very specific kind of aloneness. Call it alienation. Call it the surreality of being some body that story cannot capture fully.

Days by Moonlight – André Alexis

There is humble humanity in the basic understanding that whatever humans do will trigger an “avalanche of meaning,” and that the task of being human might be to recognize and consider as many of the nuances and reasons as one can.

The Large Door – Jonathan Gibbs

It probably says something about the contemporary cultural moment that Jonathan Gibbs’ sanguine and emotionally generous rendering of workplace sexual frisson feels just as ever-so-slightly anachronistic as the midcentury elegance of his prose style

Grenade in Mouth: Some Poems of Miyó Vestrini – Miyó Vestrini

Poems are too little, too. That’s why we need grenades, it would seem.

Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone – Astra Taylor

Attempts to carry out democracy are thus attempts to sublimate natural human conflicts into cooperatively managed institutions that yield the broadest measure of justice for their constituents.

Human Matter: A Fiction – Rodrigo Rey Rosa

The Guatemalan novelist Rodrigo Rey Rosa might have invented a new way for metafiction to feel.

Axiomatic – Maria Tumarkin

“What does it take to not be shocked?” In a book that proves Tumarkin to be a clear-eyed excavator of much pain and sorrow in our world, it’s a question that initially provokes some surprise.

Arkady – Patrick Langley

When the ranks of climate refugees grow steadily, new ways of structuring our lives will have to be tested.

Crosslight for Youngbird – Asiya Wadud

Wadud’s poems of witness are far less remote than one might expect of an often commemorative tradition, underwritten by a deep physical sympathy.

The Memory Police – Yoko Ogawa

That there should be such ambiguity between perpetrator and victim is, it seems, part of the tragedy of totalitarianism: one can fully escape neither victimhood nor complicity.

Until Stones Become Lighter Than Water – António Lobo Antunes

This new book demonstrates Lobo Antunes’ trajectory as a novelist, which could be described as a gradual broadening of scope, an attempt to incorporate more and more diverse voices into his fictions.