Review

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.

Super Extra Grande – Yoss

Here are some other technologies that humans control despite a barely functioning civil society: Nuclear weapons. The Internet. Drones. Here are some archetypes that don’t appear in this novel: Gringos. White people.

Letter to the Amazon – Marina Tsvetaeva

[Marina Tsvetaeva] responds to [Natalie Clifford] Barney’s celebration of lesbianism largely through the lens of her own experiences in a homosexual relationship and with her regret-tinged return to a heterosexual one.