Review

A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara

There’s a largeness to these characters. They are so suffused with life, with pain, pleasure, intelligence and ambition, that they occasionally feel unreal.

Counternarratives – John Keene

The title Counternarratives can be understood as describing the way these stories actively push back against instituted narratives, forcing fictional flights of the imagination in order to pin down and ascertain certain truths that have been effectively lost.

Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller – Chloé Griffin

The point of fairy tales, in case you didn’t know, is that you must be pure of heart. The point of stars is that you want to be them. The point of saints is that when their bodies die they do not really leave us.

The Secret World of Oil – Ken Silverstein

In this era, some people go to war over religion. For other folks, oil will do.

The Soul of the Marionette – John Gray

One gets the sense that [Gray] tells stories not to reach more people, but because he doesn’t think people are worth explaining things to. But then why write for popular outlets?

Genoa – Paul Metcalf

Metcalf has recreated that uniquely readerly revelation of finding in unrelated literature of all kinds resonances and echoes that inform one’s lived experience.

Harraga – Boualem Sansal

The canon of world literature should not just reflect a liberal-humanist position.

Virginia Woolf: A Portrait – Viviane Forrester

A heady blend of cod Freudianism and prurient psycho-sexual sleuthing, compelling and objectionable in equal measure.

After the Tall Timber – Renata Adler

To anyone who reads it, either in its entirety or piecemeal, this book says, quite clearly: You have not been reading carefully enough.

The Mountain and the Wall – Alisa Ganieva

But the greatest loss were the bronze statuettes, cast millennia ago, of bare-breasted, full-buttocked nude female figures, laughing horsemen with dangling legs.