Reviews Archives - The Millions

November 21, 2016

Nameless and Undefined: On Zadie Smith’s ‘Swing Time’ 0

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Aimee’s presence in Swing Time serves as an allegory for the power of whiteness; it comes, it takes, it leaves, and no one can stop it.

November 17, 2016

Stealing from the Library: On April Ayers Lawson’s ‘Virgin and Other Stories’ 0

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So which art is the good art? Who are the real artists? Who cares? Lawson’s stories seem to ask, rather gleefully. You paint and you play to distract yourself from pain. You are whatever you say you are.

November 10, 2016

Time Is the Only Effective Salve: On Vi Khi Nao’s ‘Fish in Exile’ 1

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What grows within you after you experience a deeply felt loss robs you of your ability to address it; the loss of the self that accompanies grieving serves only to create distance between you and those closest to you. Death not only silences the body of those it takes, but often leaves the witnesses mute as well.

November 10, 2016

Keeper of Stories: On Maja Haderlap’s ‘Angel of Oblivion’ 0

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Along with everything else she accomplishes with this powerful work, Haderlaps deserves praise for breaking the silence to bring the stories of Slovenian-speaking Austrians to a much broader audience.

November 3, 2016

A Comatose Society: On Rabih Alameddine’s ‘The Angel of History’ 0

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Oblivion allows some lives to be forgotten while others proceed in pleasant calm. It allows oppression to go on.

October 31, 2016

Baby Fever: On Belle Boggs’s ‘The Art of Waiting’ 0

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But The Art of Waiting isn’t memoir. It lacks the interrogation and consideration of what it truly means to mother beyond the heteronormative definitions of vaginal birth and sharing your offspring’s DNA.

October 28, 2016

A Brief History of the Future: On James Gleick’s Time Travel: A History 2

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Gleick’s hybrid of history, literary criticism, theoretical physics, and philosophical meditation is itself a time-jumping, head-tripping odyssey.

October 27, 2016

Where Fiction Heralds Facts: On Armando Lucas Correa’s ‘The German Girl’ 0

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Correa writes to remind us of the deadly consequences of closed borders, neglected refugees, and maligned and forgotten immigrants.

October 25, 2016

Amputations and Oversights: On Marc Nieson’s ‘Schoolhouse’ 2

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If you never read a book that was written by someone you know, then you never come truly face to face with the sad inadequacy of real life, which is the reason books exist in the first place. 

October 25, 2016

Pressing Closer: On Brit Bennett’s ‘The Mothers’ 0

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Bennett’s characters struggle to know one another while navigating a morass of regret, bitterness, and desire; the result is a drama of feeling that explores how trauma shapes the contours of our lives and delineates the limits to our intimacy.