“Wisel writes about domestic violence, drug abuse, poverty, and the inability to connect to others in ways that maintain healthy boundaries,” writes Sarah Sorensen.
“”History of an Executioner’ brings us to the verge of existentialism, the point where the protagonist must decide for himself at last,” reviewer Andrew Farkas writes.
“If I had been chewing gum, I would’ve swallowed it right there,” Jefferson Navicky writes upon reading Maureen Seaton.
“Whether V’s and June’s story is your or my family story,” writes Chelsea Biondodillo, “it is still our story and it should rattle and anger even as it hollows out a soft spot in the heart for these fierce and sorrowful unsung stories.”
Michael McColly writes: “Farber states what is obvious for anyone who’s spent any time or been affected by America’s massive prison industrial complex: ‘Sometimes, we need to stare at the drear reaches of our national soul to understand who we are and who we wish to be.’”
“With composed brevity and a hip, off-brand optimism, Polek mines a bottomless crevasse of depressive inclinations and self-imposed disembodiment,” writes Loie Rawding.
“Diehl and Goodrich bypass the tedium of lesson preparations to make their school settings deliciously weird,” Jason Teal writes.
“The poem lingered in my mind for weeks not because of its timeliness, but because of its unsettling brilliance,” writes Jefferson Navicky.
“The most fantastic element of the book isn’t the religion or the space travel but the way people behave,” Alder Fern writes.
The stories in this collection are varied in narrative voices but uniform in the quality of the telling, review editor Patrick Parks writes.
“With therapists like this, who needs parents?” reviewer Natania Rosenfeld asks.
“The singer experienced considerable challenges during [the 1980s] : On the positive side, she recaptured the wide public’s attention with her hit 1985 album “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” But she also lost her father, C.L. Franklin, in 1984 after a 1979 gunshot put him in a five-year coma,” music critic Aaron Cohen writes.
“In this breathtaking book, Tim Mackintosh-Smith takes us through 3,000 years of Arab history. The unifier is not, as one might guess, Islam,” Richard Wirick writes in his book review.
In the book, a Dakota “spirit” reminds Mary Todd Lincoln that despite Abe’s mainstream legacy as the hero who ended slavery, “Lincoln’s actual record on racial equality is fraught with violence and oppression,” Sarah Sorensen writers.
“Bey’s examination points to the long history of racism, classism and economics that have ingloriously combined to create the particular set of circumstances that give rise to contradictions,” reviewer Philip Berger notes.
“It is, in so many ways, a novel about waiting. Lara waits to become an adult. The artists wait for the boat of their artwork to arrive in Mexico from Germany. They wait to feel inspired. Time is at once abundant, and yet, as concentration camp survivor, Konrad, is infinitely aware, terrifyingly brief,” Sarah Sorensen writes.
“Make/Shift drops the reader and characters into worlds, time, and the mind itself. In this debut collection of eleven short stories with three ‘commercial breaks’ between stories, author Joe Sacksteder hypnotizes you with his imagination, beckoning you to join him down the rabbit hole,” Michael Gawdzik writes.
You won’t find much radical analysis in contemporary fiction: Trump is stupid, rude, a racist and a misogynist; his election was a completely unsuspected usurpation of both a deserving candidate and the norms that bound an imperfect but fundamentally good country together. Now it falls to the few good people left to struggle against him, like Dumbledore’s Army, like District 13, like The Fellowship of the Ring. It must be done, and it must be done now, but it must be done in a kind, hopeful, affirming way, or we will be no better than he is.
“Each inch of the park is designed to trick visitors into thinking they’ve left New York for a Parisian garden, the Catskills, Wonderland, or that they are themselves Henry Hudson discovering Manhattan…,” David Andrew Stoler writes of Stephen Wolf’s book on Central Park.
“Jeremy T. Wilson shares Victoria Patterson’s gift for creating empathy for initially unlikable characters whose destructive and compulsive behaviors hurt themselves and those closest to them,” Laura Johanna Waltje writes.
Nope, Roberta Flack didn’t write that song. Find out more in Thomas Larson’s review.
“When it comes to Brown’s latest, the White (or even in some cases Grimy) City should be proud,” Laurie Levy writes of Rosellen Brown’s “The Lake on Fire.”
Finally Natalia Ginzburg’s “Family Lexicon” is English and couldn’t be more timely, Natalia Nebel writes.
A writer always takes a risk when writing about a work of art that’s not reproduced on the page. Will the reader step away from the text? Reviewed by Mary Harris Russell.
Reading Tim Kreider’s essays on love feels like living in a kinder world for 200 pages. A review by Katharine Coldiron.
Solwitz’s lush, taut novel gets under the skin of teenagers who make a suicide pact. Reviewed by Toni Nealie.
A sweeping political history of last century Europe and the United States, from the 1920s up to 1959. Reviewed by Natalia Nebel.
Bruce Dancis’ nuanced historical-cum-autobiographic account of the late-1960s movement at Cornell University against U.S. warfare in Vietnam. Reviewed by Lew Zipin.