Reviews Archives - The Millions

June 22, 2017

The Harrowing Translations of Valeria Luiselli 1


The number of refugees is staggering and the circumstances harrowing: If you are a girl crossing the border from Mexico, there is an 80 percent chance that you will be raped.

June 20, 2017

The King of Shopping Mall Surrealism 1


McClanahan is not afraid to hold the royal and holy up alongside the mundane and banal. He cups them all together and the result is a book that is as tender as it is fierce.

June 13, 2017

Teju Cole’s Incantations 5


In Blind Spot, Cole creates a space in which to notice himself noticing—he’s the third echo in the series, and invites us to stand in as the next—and the result is something richer and more ambiguous than we might have anticipated.

June 2, 2017

Resistance Blooms in Nigeria 0


Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s novel goes beyond a tragic love story and proves not just a biting critique of Nigeria’s political structures but also of its cultural, religious, and gendered norms, challenging what a woman can and can’t do within a conservative society.

May 23, 2017

Lineage of Restless Women: On Kristen Radtke’s ‘Imagine Wanting Only This’ 0


Family is how many people understand the world, and that’s okay, but for many women, art is the key to unlocking the mysteries of life.

May 10, 2017

Mixed Methodology: On Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve 1


Blatt’s quantitative approach to literature is novel —
and very entertaining — but the book is undermined by poor copyediting and methodologies that call into question the conclusions Blatt reaches.

April 26, 2017

Fiction’s No Stranger: On Doree Shafrir’s ‘Startup’ 0


Art imitates life in tech, but novels give us one precious advantage over reality: the time to reflect on what we’re consuming.

April 25, 2017

Tiny Shudders: On Elizabeth Strout’s ‘Anything Is Possible’ 1


Strout’s genius is her ability to wring deeply moving stories from ungenerous sources; to reveal, through hurried gestures and single syllables, the welter of feeling the Lydias and Olives of the world are trying to conceal.

April 21, 2017

Rising Waters: On Omar El Akkad’s ‘American War’ 11


El Akkad deploys a subtle critique of torture as not only immoral, but ineffective — and a direct critique of the Bush administration’s embrace of torture and Donald Trump’s lurid flirtation with it.

April 20, 2017

The Sexless Idiot 0


At a time when sex is the starting point rather than the goal of most romantic relationships, we don’t have a rich phrasebook for understanding why two seemingly interested people fail at step one.