This Week’s Top Reviews

A Year From Today
Stacy Szymaszek | Nightboat Books | 9781937658762 | September 2018
“‘Daily writing’ suggests both a method, writing through the temporal constraint of the journal, and a content, something like the metabolism of a life, maybe but not necessarily punctuated by excitement or crisis. . . . ‘Declare’ is Szymaszek’s signature verb of the journal form, which is to say that the method of observation, day by day, turns trivial content into a program for life-writing.”—Believer Logger

The Rosie Result
Grahame Simsion | Text Publishing | 9781925773828 | May 2019
“Simsion hits just the right balance between serious literary exploration of social issues and the delightfully humorous (mis)adventures of an unusual but good-intentioned modern family.”—New York Journal of Books

“Don’s voice is particular—his intelligence extraordinary—and he is oblivious of how funny he is. His relationships with others are unique and excellently written. . . . Simsion’s novel depicts autism in such unremarkable ways that its story becomes remarkable in the telling.”—Foreword Reviews

The A26
Pascal Garnier, trans. Melanie Florence | Gallic Books | 9781908313164 | April 2015
The Front Seat Passenger
Pascal Garnier, trans. Jane Aitken | Gallic Books | 9781908313638 | September 2014
The Islanders
Pascal Garnier, trans. Emily Boyce | Gallice Books | 9781908313720 | June 2015
“In Garnier’s narratives, character weaknesses often nudge fate into stark tragedy. He explored the frailties of human nature as they are revealed in ordinary situations that conceal forthcoming major consequences. . . . For all their action-filled plots, Garnier’s novels concentrate on how external forces—or imperceptible inner dynamisms—assail the vulnerable spots in individual defense mechanisms, setting off behavior that suddenly reshapes the here and now.”—Arts Fuse

The Oasis This Time: Living and Dying with Water in the West
Rebecca Lawton | Torrey House Press | 9781937226930 | March 2019
“Rebecca Lawton’s powerful and poetic The Oasis This Time celebrates water as a precious natural resource. The collection is as diverse as it is illuminating. Each essay addresses a unique topic, but all are anchored by keen observations of the environment and musings on alternative solutions to pressing environmental problems.”—Foreword Reviews
  

Je Nathanaël
Nathanaël | Nightboat Books | 9781937658915 | September 2018
“Nathanaël drastically, for instance, reconfigures presence and non-presence, identity and non-identity, of the author (speaker, lover, and so on) and the addressed, beloved reader. Where once, for Gide — and modernity writ large — the author was a metaphysical presence, an authority, whether absolute or negative, the author here is temporally-fixed and partial: self-aware, both author and reader, cognizant of the petite-celebrity the 20th C. author has since passed through, always calling attention to the writer’s predilection and finitude.”—Full Stop Magazine

Crosslight for Youngbird
Asiya Wadud | Nightboat Books | 9781937658878 | October 2018
“It is a poetics of responsibility as much as a poetics of response, an ethics of care and an erotics of promise—an interiority received, taken in, secreted. It is with this growing awareness of our own complacency amid the normalization of state violence and terror that Asiya Wadud begins Crosslight for Youngbird; by re-orienting our moral compass and the language by which we articulate and conceptualize migration or how we fail to, Wadud becomes both archivist and poet, itinerant and cartographer, inhabiting migratory routes as well as sites of detainment so as to show us our own subjective positions within this shared space we call our world.”—The Brooklyn Rail

All the Fierce Tethers
Lia Purpura | Sarabande Books | 9781946448309 | April 2019
“Witty, friendly, and provocative, Purpura fosters a belief in the authenticity of interaction.”—World Literature Review

“All the Fierce Tethers is both a marvel of language and a treatise on our taking the time to stop, look around, and pay attention to our surroundings and, concurrently, to acknowledge the interconnectedness of life and its objects. Written in vibrant, luxurious prose, Purpura leaves her readers looking at the world in a distinct and more vibrant way.”—Arkansas International

Sun and Earth/Sol Y Tierra: Views Beyond the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1988-2018
Emily Matyas | Daylight Books | 9781942084631 | May 2019
“Emily Matyas however does not engage in a discussion about border security but shows with a sympathetic eye scenes of what she has encountered when crossing the border between Mexico and the United States in the last 30 years which she has done dozens of times. . . . Sol y Tierra is a convincing illustration of empathy.”—F-Stop Magazine

Stella Maris: And Other Key West Stories
Michael Carroll | Turtle Point Press | 9781885983688 | April 2019
“Often brutal and painful, Stella Maris knifes into religion, whiteness, class, sex, beauty, Southernness, and aging at the margins of the United States’s southernmost point. . . . What’s sordid and tawdry is exposed as a pedestrian, communal obsession; Key West is just the place where everyone’s forced to admit it.” —Foreword Reviews

Letters to Goya: Poems, Titles and Letters to the Dead
James Magee | Cinco Puntos Press | 9781941026984 | January 2019
“This collection is an adventure in itself…Magee impresses with his concrete imagery, lyrical counterpoint, and subtle internal rhyme schemes.”—New York Journal of Books

Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action
Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, Jennifer Listug | Monkfish Books | 9781939681867 | July 2018
“Hats off once again to the inimitable Matthew Fox who refuses at the age of 76 to still his voice or diminish his vision.”—Spirituality and Practice

The Hope Fault
Tracy Farr | Gallic Books | 9781910709436  | October 2018
“Farr’s examination of amplectant bonds as equally capable of holding families together as they are of tearing them apart feels as real as fiction gets.”—World Literature Today

“Muslim” A Novel
Zahia Rahmani | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920756 | March 2019
“This is the ethical and political terrain at stake for Rahmani, whose literary fiction is an instrument for truths that as yet have nowhere else to be heard. That the very nature of our political regimes requires intervention by way of fiction suggests that literature has an indispensable role to play in the ongoing work of justice.”—Public Books

Revenge of the Translator
Brice Matthieussent, translated by Emma Ramadan | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920695 | September 2018
“Confusing, sexy, intelligent, funny, disarming, irresistible . . . one of the great metatextual novels of the 21st century (so far), and it’s difficult for me to be comfortable with a statement that bold, but honestly, it really is that good. If you enjoy the act of reading at all, get it, read it, teach it, savor it.”—Carolina Quarterly

Wounds into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone | Monkfish Book Publishing | 9781948626026 | April 2019
“Meaningful and relevant!”—Light of Consciousness Magazine

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