This Week’s Hot Reviews

Rain and Other Stories
Mia Couto, trans. Eric M.B. Becker | Biblioasis | 9781771962667 | February 2019
“A Chekhovian subtly is achieved, even when their realism turns to the magical. . . . What’s most successful about this collection are the ways in which Couto repeatedly asks unanswerable questions, piquing reader curiosity. . .answers manifest through subtext, and the effect is both chilling and tragic. In this collection, Mia Couto, via Eric M. B. Becker’s aesthetically rich translation, packs an emotional resonance in each story—despite brevity, many only reaching five pages—that lingers with readers long after putting the book down.”—Arkansas International

Surge
Etel Adnan | Nightboat Books | 9781937658854 | August 2018
“In Surge, a new book of (mostly) taut prose formations, what she is thinking about at 93 seems to be the whole range of life on earth, explored with a more palpable sense of mortality than perhaps she could have expressed at 43 or 53. The moon, computers, volcanoes, the financial system, birds, marriage…nothing is too small, too large, too abstract nor too specific for her to meditate upon. The action of the book is like a sewing machine: jabbing deeply and decisively into a subject and then quickly moving on. . . . Such economy and philosophy could meet only in the work of a poet who has practiced for decades.”—VIDA Reviews

Geography of Rebels Trilogy
Maria Gabriela Llansol, trans. Audrey Young | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920633 | September 2018
“Reading Geography of Rebels is an unforgettable experience. Llansol’s hallucinatory prose is genuinely transfixing.”—Carolina Quarterly

Mephisto’s Waltz
Sergio Pitol, trans. George Henson | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920831 | January 2019
“A dizzying and, at times, disorienting read, yet surely this is what caused Pitol to light up an already-lit Latin scene. . . . Pitol’s biggest leaps forward—nesting stories inside one another, analyzing his writing like a critic, blurring the line between life and art—test the limits of what bookfolk today like to call autofiction. . . . Together, the fragments add up to a broad snapshot of a time and place and, in hindsight, make the narrative gymnastics of Bolaño seem inevitable.”—Southwest Review

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