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Sherman Alexie's You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir

Sherman Alexie recently posted a frank letter on his Facebook page explaining why he was canceling the rest of his book tour.

Kurt Baumeister’s Pax Americana

The current political panorama will undoubtedly produce some outstanding critical fiction. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait long because some of it is already here.

Jessie Chaffee's An Oasis, An Abyss: Florence in Ecstasy

Florence in Ecstasy is about more than the search for self. It can’t be pigeon-holed into that tradition, any more than it can be considered an extension of literary inventions of Florence.

Yuri Herrera's Kingdom Cons

Yuri Herrera’s Kingdom Cons is an odd book to contend with, regardless of circumstance—it’s a brief, fable-ish tale one experiences almost as much cinematically as literarily.

Daniel Kehlmann's Realism, Horror, Multiverse, and Unreliable Narration: You Should Have Left

Daniel Kehlmann’s new novella, You Should Have Left, is a masterful experiment about the limits of literary realism. At first a banal narrative of the everyday struggles of marriage, fatherhood, and screenwriting, the novella leaps into an apparent paranormal narrative that seeks to bend the boundaries of reality. 

Nancy Lord's pH: A Novel

Although Nancy Lord has been writing powerfully about our role in the destruction of our natural environment for a long while, this is the first full-length fiction by the famed Alaska naturalist and former Alaska Writer Laureate (2008-10).

LONGING, THEY SAY: On Sally Rooney's novel Conversations With Friends

Conversations With Friends by the debut Irish novelist Sally Rooney is equal parts coming of age story and cultural commentary. The novel is filled with brittle humor, vivid dialogue, and angular iterations of love. It is a love story, with the syrupy sweet stuff drained out.

Joseph Scapellato's Big Lonesome

Discussing The Searchers in one of his early film essays, Godard describes when John Wayne finds Natalie Wood and holds her at arm’s length as a moment of classical transference.

Juan Villoro's The Reef

Before Malcolm Lowry found himself in Mexico, drunkenly unraveling his life to reshape it, he was an eighteen-year-old kid from England who pursued dreams of becoming a sailor.

In Conversation

Suicide Blonde Turns 25: DARCEY STEINKE with Ruwa Alhayek

To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of my novel Suicide Blonde, I wanted to have a conversation with a younger female writer whose work deals with similar themes as my novel.

In Conversation

Some of Them Are Wild: JENNY ZHANG with Tucker Newsome

There are many novice writers who believe, or are taught to believe, that before they can sell a collection of short stories they must publish a novel, but Jenny Zhang’s Sour Heart proves otherwise.

Sarah Perry's After the Eclipse

Twenty-three years after an annular solar eclipse cut across North America from southern California to northern Maine, another eclipse has just shrouded the nation in darkness, moving southeast from the Pacific Northwest to the American South.

Emily Culliton's The Misfortune of Marion Palm: A Novel

Most people don’t walk out on their life. They have children, a spouse, parents, an aging golden retriever who needs daily arthritis medicine, the winter vacation in Florida six months from now and already paid for, the midnight hour to themselves in the (almost) renovated basement.

Margo Berdeshevsky's Before the Drought

Margo Berdeshevsky’s newest book, Before the Drought, is described as a “literary inquiry” and I am inclined to agree with that definition, yet what it leaves out is the author’s wonderful passion, her daring, and in the later poems, her cleverness. So add these qualities to the mix, and what we get is brilliance, the voice dominant, the intelligence demanding, and, in this book by this writer, a whole-hearted recognition of the body, particularly the female body, in all its phases.

Patricia Carlin's The Art of the Underneath: Second Nature

In the James Kriegsmann, Jr. photograph that adorns the cover of Second Nature, Patricia Carlin’s new collection of poetry, a grafted orange tree laden with fruit rises from a square of dirt among cobblestones.

Kristina Marie Darling's Je Suis L'Autre: Essays and Interrogations

Je Suis L’Autre: I am the other,” a riff on Rimbaud’s perversion or poetic re-vision, Je est un autre, “I is some- one else,” which Lacan, in turn, took up to recognize

Marie NDiaye's My Heart Hemmed In

Marie NDiaye’s My Heart Hemmed In begins with a mysterious injury.

Darcy Steinke's Suicide Blonde

I first read Darcey Steinke’s Suicide Blonde at some point in the 1990s. I was around the same age as Steinke’s protagonist, Jesse, and although my life had taken a different trajectory, I remember recognizing too much of myself in Jesse.

Inara Verzemnieks's Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe

Trauma comes in many forms: physical abuse, illness, political violence, environmental disaster, or in the case of exiles, refugees, those forcibly removed or otherwise displaced persons, a form of suspended animation.

Laura E. Ruberto and Joseph Sciorra's New Italian Migrations to the United States

After more than 140 years, the image of the Italian in North America has evolved from the lusty Italophobic caricatures of the first half of the twentieth century to today’s condescending flattery.

Alex Gilvarry's Eastman Was Here

In a now-famous 1997 smack down, David Foster Wallace took a generation of great American novelists—Updike, Mailer, Roth—to task.

In Conversation

JAY MURPHY with Joseph Nechvatal

Artaud’s Metamorphosis: From Hieroglyphs to Bodies Without Organs (2017)


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2017

All Issues