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Debra Bricker Balken’s Harold Rosenberg: A Critic’s Life

Born in Brooklyn to a relatively poor family, Harold Rosenberg spent a couple of years at City College and briefly attended law school. In the 1930s he wrote poetry and worked as an editor. Then during World War Two, because he had an injured leg, and wasn’t drafted, Rosenberg lived in Washington, DC and worked for the Office of War Information.

Daniel H. Turtel’s Greetings from Asbury Park

There is no shortage of ideas in Greetings from Asbury Park, the debut novel by Daniel H. Turtel. In under 250 pages, Turtel contends with the ways children are haunted by their parents in both life and death, the anxieties of legitimacy, the fragile but tight strands of connection that hold communities together, the echoing effects of emotional trauma and the impossibility of escaping from memory, the ongoing frustration of racism and homophobia’s existence into our present, and the taboos of incest. As I read this ambitious work, I couldn’t help but feel Turtel attempting to channel Sherwood Anderson’s short story cycle Winesburg, Ohio.

Ian MacAllen’s Red Sauce

As if Mark Kurlansky’s Salt and Ada Boni’s The Talisman Italian Cookbook had a lovechild, Ian MacAllen’s debut book Red Sauce combines a thoroughly researched history along with succulent recipes, and serves an entertaining and insightful book upon our plates.

Ida Jessen’s A Postcard for Annie

The Danish writer Ida Jessen (A Change of Time) masterfully explores the female voice in her latest short story collection, A Postcard for Annie. There are six stories in total, which are all remarkably real and relatable. At first, these stories may seem even too mundane with everyday chores of cooking and cleaning, fighting with one’s spouse, or listening to a son badmouth his mother.

Claire Kohda’s Woman, Eating

Claire Kohda’s debut is a deeply moving contemplation on love, food, art, and what it means to be alive. It’s also a vampire novel.

Megan Mayhew Bergman’s How Strange a Season: Fiction

Over the last ten years, Megan Mayhew Bergman has proven to be a damn fine short-story writer. Her stories have appeared in such literary magazines as AGNI, the Kenyon Review, and Ploughshares, and, more recently, the Sewanee Review, Narrative magazine, and even O, The Oprah Magazine, and they’ve been collected in The Best American Short Stories

In Conversation

Mike Davis with Pac Pobric

In the past thirty-five years, Davis has published around two dozen books, including a brief history of the car bomb, that “inherently fascist weapon” (Buda’s Wagon, 2007); a Benjaminian study of the fault lines underlying Los Angeles’s contradictions (City of Quartz, 1990); a startling account of the pressure-cooker-like conditions of squalid cities around the world (Planet of Slums, 2006); and a searing analysis of the American working class’s many disastrous defeats (Prisoners of the American Dream, 1986).

In Conversation

Jordan A. Rothacker with Tobias Carroll

The title of Jordan A. Rothacker’s The Pit, and No Other Stories might make you do a double-take the first time you see it. After its initial publication in 2015, Spaceboy Books—home to several of Rothacker’s other works—is reissuing this novella-in-stories with a new introduction and afterword.

In Conversation

Aaron Angello’s The Fact of Memory

Aaron Angello’s new collection of lyric essays, The Fact of Memory, is the result of a daily practice stemming over some four months. It consists of one short meditation for every word in Shakespeare’s twenty-ninth sonnet (“When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”), written every morning for 114 consecutive days. Alongside its emphasis on structure, Angello’s collection revels in the gap: the open space without a railing, the leap readers must make on their own, without the help of explication or transition.

Sasha Stiles’s Technelegy

We need works like Technelegy to help us mediate the complex relationship we have with technology—to go beyond the terror or shame that proliferates in media reports.

The Biography of a Great Poetry

While the Collected Poems is retrospective, printing the poems Auden wanted as he wanted them by the time of his death, the Princeton Poems, exhilaratingly prospective, prints the poems as they first appeared in individual books, recreating Auden’s poetic development as it actually happened from 1928 to 1972, including many poems later eliminated, plus the poems from the posthumous Thank You, Fog.

Gregory Corso’s The Golden Dot: Last Poems, 1997–2000

Gregory Corso died more than twenty years ago, but his meticulously composed final poems are presented here for the first time, thanks to the tireless efforts of Raymond Foye and George Scrivani in retrieving its manuscript and preparing it for publication.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2022

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