Reviews

Telephone – Percival Everett

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For fans of Everett’s more satirical fictions, Telephone might seem like a wayward attempt at conventionality, but behind the homebound setting’s realist framing is a novel no less attuned to the culture around it.

Had I Known – Barbara Ehrenreich

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Thoughtfully selected and arranged, the chronological staggering of the texts in this volume underscores parallels across Ehrenreich’s more than three decades as a public intellectual and political commentator.

Translation is a Mode=Translation is an Anti-Neocolonial Mode – Don Mee Choi

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The essay is a tightly woven crystallization of ideas that appear throughout Choi’s work, including linguistic nonequivalence and one’s sense of home under neocolonization.

The Book of Sleep – Haytham El Wardany

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THE BOOK OF SLEEP leaves us with the triad of sleep, revolution, and poetry, each inseparable from the other. When we separate life from its utility, we come closer to free play, to liberation as an ever-ongoing struggle.

Where the Wild Ladies Are – Matsuda Aoko

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In Matsuda’s collection of spooky feminist retellings of Japanese folktales, it isn’t the ghosts or the workplace harassment that provides the jump scares: it’s the material reminder of conformity and meaningless, textureless commodity.

Picture Cycle – Masha Tupitsyn

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PICTURE CYCLE shows us that trying to figure out a film is some of the most fun you can have with them, because for Tupitsyn, watching and analyzing film has always been an embodied practice, a practice often rooted in the personal.

Imaginary Museums – Nicolette Polek

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Polek allows her characters — and therefore herself — to face the fear of futility that lurks everywhere in her exhibits. But there is a real grace in this devastation, too. Alongside the grace, stories like these provide that fizzy tincture of strangeness and humanity that every reader I know lives for.

American Grief in Four Stages – Sadie Hoagland

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Hoagland’s stories show the power of grief over time, and the stories reshape us.

Dreams of Being – Michael J. Seidlinger

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A tightly wound novel that waxes philosophic on artistic identity and creative struggle.

Death in Her Hands – Ottessa Moshfegh

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The open-endedness of Vesta’s mystery fulfills itself, because as Vesta said, “The last thing anyone should do is stuff her head full of other people’s ways of doing things. That would take all the fun out.”

Imaginary Museums – Nicolette Polek

by

Polek allows her characters — and therefore herself — to face the fear of futility that lurks everywhere in her exhibits. But there is a real grace in this devastation, too. Alongside the grace, stories like these provide that fizzy tincture of strangeness and humanity that every reader I know lives for.

Toy Fabels – Cass McCombs

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In this first outing, McCombs struggles toward spiritual frenzy, struggles toward total casualness, struggles toward artificial grace.

The Book of Sleep – Haytham El Wardany

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THE BOOK OF SLEEP leaves us with the triad of sleep, revolution, and poetry, each inseparable from the other. When we separate life from its utility, we come closer to free play, to liberation as an ever-ongoing struggle.

Where the Wild Ladies Are – Matsuda Aoko

by

In Matsuda’s collection of spooky feminist retellings of Japanese folktales, it isn’t the ghosts or the workplace harassment that provides the jump scares: it’s the material reminder of conformity and meaningless, textureless commodity.