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In Conversation

LEIGH CLAIRE LA BERGE with Andreas Petrossiants

While work may never become obsolete, being paid for it might—slyly invalidating the darker sides of some recent postwork theory soaked in accelerationist dogma, rather than in ideals of just redistribution or the outright toppling of capitalist exchange.

Run Me To Earth

Paul Yoon’s new novel, his second, Run Me to Earth, takes place during the Laotian Civil War. While the Vietnam War rages on, Laos is engaged in a civil war between the Soviet-supported, communist Pathet Lao and the American-backed Royal Lao Government throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.

Gendering Biography

There are aspects of a person’s life that aren’t subject to opinion: age, country of birth, or the manner of their death. Within the murkier, subjective areas is where the historian's prowess—and prejudice—may lurk. While Weller elucidated Carrie Fisher’s inner world, Moser’s “mansplaining” of Susan Sontag reveals more about him than his subject.

In Conversation

AMBER SPARKS with Nancy Hightower

Amber Sparks’s new short story collection, And I Do Not Forgive You, complements other recently published novels that reframe myth and folklore to challenge our 21st century pre-apocalyptic mindset.

Soong's staging of pre-arrival: Near At, and the scene of the crash

In language that is lyrical and dense, stuttering and elegant, playful and probing, Soong joins a coterie of writers as expansive as her first collection, Near, At.

In Conversation


Barnett insists “It’s not too late to fight back. / Calamity et al! / Get up, we love you!” Thus a wake up rally cry is wryly supported by an allusion to—of all things—Frank O’Hara’s “Poem (Lana Turner has collapsed!).” Surely one of many reasons why Catherine Barnett’s Human Hours packs such a powerful punch is that its creator has synthesized her sources without straining for effect. Barnett succeeds through understanding and sympathy.

Mona Eltahawy's The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls

Mona Eltahawy’s feminist manifesto, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls (2019), is written, Eltahawy says, “with enough rage to fuel a rocket.” Eltahawy is an Egyptian feminist activist and journalist whose experiences and writings have been hugely important in our current time.

In Conversation

LANCE OLSEN with Andrea Scrima

Lance Olsen is author of more than 25 books of and about innovative writing, including, most recently, the novels Dreamlives of Debris (Dzanc, 2017) and My Red Heaven.

In Conversation

JUDITH BAUMEL with Catherine Parnell

A poet, essayist, teacher, and traveler, Baumel is a modern-day seeker, wresting meaning out of the past and holding it up to the present. Baumel is on a journey, and her poems mark time and space. What follows is a conversation about the place and meaning of poetry today, including poetic meet-ups with Virgil, Ovid and Theocritus, and a stroll through Italy and the Bronx. Passeggiate. Walk with us.

Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers

Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime By Women Writers is a patriarchy-challenging collection of noir by women. Not all of these tales are told from a woman’s perspective, nor are they all presenting a feminist perspective, but most are wonderfully wrought, chilling tales of revenge, redemption, the evil that men do, and just what these women do about it.

The Once and Future Queen: Amber Sparks's Weird Realism

Amber Sparks’s third story collection And I Do Not Forgive You: Stories and Other Revenges is, as the title suggests, teeming with tales of retribution, though reducing the book or even its concept to that of a glorified burn book would be way off the mark. Desire, anger, murder, madness, robots, gods, monsters, apocalypses, love, hate, violence, magic, fairy godmothers, women as heroes, and men behaving badly (badly-behaved men who often pay with their lives, or hearts, or souls for said bad behavior): all these things live within this book’s pages.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2020

All Issues