Articles by Yevgeniya Traps

September 17, 2012

The Girls’ Guide to War: Shani Boianjiu’s The People of Forever Are Not Afraid 1

If you are finding it just a little difficult to picture a Venn diagram where a novel-in-stories about the Vietnam War intersects with a Tina-Fey penned movie about the travails of high school girls, consider this: both war and high school are marked by a strange blend of ennui and nearly unbearable stress, of existential dread and petty banality.

March 12, 2012

Speaking of Anne Frank… 0

When we — and by “we” here I naturally mean Next-Big-Thing Jewish authors — talk about Anne Frank, we seem to be invoking a wide swath of anxieties, a whole megillah of insecurities, real and imagined angst that has everything and nothing to do with Anne Frank herself.

April 5, 2011

The Price of the Dream: David Bezmozgis’s The Free World 0

Emigration is not unlike love: its true course never did run smooth. You envision the free world filled with beauty and wonder, and then you see it, the West, and it is lovely, yes, tantalizing, but also cruel, withholding, a stern, ingrate mistress, possessed of a stony heart, an unyielding temperament.

November 2, 2010

Chosen: Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question 0

The Finkler Question is unapologetically comic, a book brimming with moments that inspire laughter. Humor is its modus operandi, its raison d’être. It bristles and overflows with set-ups and punchlines, with observations and jests.

August 6, 2010

The New Normal: Martin Amis’s The Pregnant Widow 2

The Pregnant Widow has a simple premise really: a love triangle powered by youthful lust and a suitably exotic locale. Then again, maybe not so simple.

June 17, 2010

Paper Routes: Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists 3

Rachman wields prose that is fittingly functional, dispensing, for the most part, with unnecessary flourishes, efficiently doling out pertinent particulars with a simplicity that is so striking as to be deliberate.