While there is a sense of pride in having created something so wonderful, there is also a fear that it all might be tarnished or even taken away by the corporate entities that run the film industry, television networks, and fashion.
by Geri Jeter
May 29th, 2013
by Marla Wick
May 1st, 2013
An enterprising Japanese capitalist, presumably in conjunction with the state, recruits women from all over the country to work at an innovative new silk factory, appealing both to their own financial need and to their patriotism. Once they sign the Agent’s contract, the women find themselves mutating into human silkworms.
by Marla Wick
April 29th, 2013
Like its monsters, Red Moon is an impressive hybrid—a speculative novel about fairy tale horrors, a love story about star-crossed teenagers from different worlds, and a gritty political thriller.
by Marla Wick
February 18th, 2013
Through the invocation of epic prose forms and literary allusion, Kincaid elevates the nuclear family drama to a grand level as she draws un-remarked and seemingly sincere parallels between the passions and animosities of familial relationships and the grand scope of literary and mythic history. In doing so, she taps into the reader’s intuitive sense of the way all personal tragedies and triumphs feel epic to those who go through them.
February 11th, 2013
Ogawa begins by showing her readers the apparently boring, normal face of human society, and then slowly lets this face of normality slide back to reveal decomposition, death, and emptiness.
January 22nd, 2013
Like Bolaño, Zambra was born in Santiago, Chile. However, he was born later, in 1975, part of a generation that spent its childhood under Pinochet’s rule. In Ways of Going Home, Zambra depicts childhood experiences of trying to understand the cryptic comments and peculiar actions of adults, in an atmosphere where children’s simple pleasures – such as going to watch a soccer match at a municipal stadium — bring back memories of terror, incarcerations, and disappeared loved ones for their parents and neighbors.
by Toba Singer
January 9th, 2013
While he has an ear for both the humdrum and the eccentric dissembling pronouncements of the landowners, Saramago primarily concerns himself with capturing the diametrically opposite and logical sentiments of the workers. To dub him the John Steinbeck of his people and generation would at once amount to a compliment and faint praise of the singularity of his writing…
by Ed Voves
January 7th, 2013
If we could follow the mortal remains or spiritual resonance of a sport-loving soldier from the Second World War, an impoverished London lad from the time of Charles Dickens, a French servant woman of the Napoleonic era or a scientific researcher from a decade or two in the future, where might these trails lead?
by Holly Hunt
December 30th, 2012
The value of Pullman’s new translation, I believe, lies in his willingness to encompass the darkness as well as the light in the tales, and his determination to retell them in language that does not belong to any particular historical moment or sensibility.
by Marla Wick
December 26th, 2012
Though some stories in Astray are more poignant than others, Donoghue once again shows herself to be a writer who excels at evoking characters with startling precision. The result is an exceptional collection that meditates widely on the way in which even the most stable-seeming lives can quickly unravel, revealing the contingent nature of the idea of stability itself.
by Holly Hunt
November 15th, 2012
The summer of 1935 is a hot and languorous one in Pequot Landing, Connecticut. Elms yet untouched by the Dutch Blight shade the old houses, The Good Earth and Anthony Adverse are in heavy demand at the public library, and the headlines feature Bruno Hauptmann’s trial for the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby.
by Toba Singer
November 5th, 2012
A mile wide and an inch deep? Not Christine Schutt’s Prosperous Friends. Quite the opposite. It’s a compact 205-page spare-prose novel with a wickedly deceptive rose-colored antimacassar of a book jacket. With those rudimentary tools, it rips the façade off of marriage, much the way a smiling nurse s l o w l y eases a bandage from your wound, and then when you’re good and trusting, rips off the entrenched last bit.
October 21st, 2012
You might enjoy your own shot of bourbon to compliment the liquor these two “weirdly agreeable dudes” are drinking while “on a porch…talking a lot.” The book is a page turner, primarily because once you meet the never named southern characters you are hooked on the hilarious observations they share.
October 9th, 2012
Chicago is the city, 1999 is the year. This book is a love story but one with a different twist on your typical boy-meets-girl, then boy-loses-girl story. Somehow, the book covers that ground but remains refreshingly breezy and simple. Perhaps, because it’s a love story on bicycles.
by Fran Bigman
September 21st, 2012
By calling her newest novel NW, Zadie Smith follows in the tradition of other writers, including Mary Gaskell, George Eliot, and Winifred Holtby, who have named the work after the setting. Like its predecessors, NW is an ensemble novel that explores human nature through a microcosm of the world, a technique that has historically appealed to women writers. Jane Austen famously said her work, containable on a “little bit (two inches wide) of Ivory,” was about “four or five families in a country village.”
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