Reviews

March 4, 2015

An Intimate Guest: On Lynne Tillman’s ‘What Gets Kept’ 0

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Tillman’s authorial voice is singular, and her spoken voice is, too. It’s truly an amplification of the voice on the page. Many people have remarked on the quality of Tillman’s voice: its strength and intellect, its wit and warmth. It’s also raspy, sensitive, perceptive, keen—delivered with a New York accent.

March 3, 2015

Cohesion Is Not Continuity: On Sarah Manguso’s ‘Ongoingness’ 0

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There is a remarkable sureness to this book, a calm hush like that of a person who speaks softly so that you lean in to listen.

March 2, 2015

On Forgetting: Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘The Buried Giant’ 4

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At some moments, I felt I had found an apocryphal eighth Chronicle of Narnia, written by a particularly cheerless, possibly aphasic disciple of C.S. Lewis.

February 26, 2015

Tough Love: On Mac McClelland’s ‘Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story’ 1

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Irritable Hearts is a memory of recovery, a thoughtful and well-researched record of one woman’s experience with a subtle and often terrifying condition.

February 26, 2015

A Bloodletting: On Mark Doten’s ‘The Infernal’ 8

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All the lies and deceit of the last dozen years, the courage shown and the suspicion that it meant little, have been brought together in one place, between the covers of a single book. Here’s hoping that people open it.

February 25, 2015

Bugged and Bruised: On Jason Ockert’s ‘Wasp Box’ 1

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Ockert reveals how sometimes evil arrives not with a bang or a whimper, but with the calming buzz of the inevitable.

February 24, 2015

The Post-Apocalyptic Present: On Quan Barry’s ‘She Weeps Each Time You’re Born’ 0

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The history of Vietnam is another quagmire. And upon this sucking, unholy ground a novel is built.

February 20, 2015

The Joy of Crewnecks: Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ 3

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Marie Kondo has a method for cleaning and reorganizing your home that might be crazy and might be brilliant, but works either way.

January 28, 2015

The Existentialist Swimmer: Daniel Galera’s ‘Blood-Drenched Beard’ 0

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Blood-Drenched Beard has at its center a fascinatingly headstrong character, one who swims perfectly but flounders on land, who strives for connection with his grandfather while cutting himself off from family — and one we root for despite not knowing his name.

January 28, 2015

Conversation as Performance: On ‘BOMB: The Author Interviews’ 2

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Writer interviews serve a strangely utilitarian purpose. “Inspire” might be a thin word in our cynical literary present, but dare I say that reading these conversations made me want to handwrite excerpts on index cards and lean them against books on my shelves.