Reviews Archives - Page 3 of 86 - The Millions

January 18, 2017

The Way Individuals Survive: On Jen George’s ‘The Babysitter at Rest’ 0


George’s frank dystopias do not rely on beauty or brutality or humanistic appeals to sell themselves. Just a vision and a ghoulish sense of humor.

January 17, 2017

A Tree That Is All Branches: On Rachel Cusk’s ‘Transit’ 2


The peripheral narrative construction of Transit — the feints and evasions and elisions — is finally peripheral to the central pleasure: spending time with the book’s animating intelligence.

January 12, 2017

Bridge Life: On André Aciman’s ‘Enigma Variations’ 0


Depth, not breadth, is the treasure, and grasping after the ungraspable present becomes the point of the quest itself.

December 28, 2016

Writing Without a Face: On ‘Frantumaglia’ 1


Whenever Ferrante is forced to communicate about her work, her communication is laced with an intense self-surveillance. The book is restrained and self-protective, and I find myself protective of her as well.

November 21, 2016

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


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


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


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


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


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


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.