This Week’s Top Reviews

The Tiny Journalist 
Naomi Shihab Nye | BOA Editions | 9781942683728 | April 2019
“In deceptively simple syntax and universally relevant terms, Nye’s poems call on us to grapple with what it means to be human in the midst of conflict.”—Arkansas International

Dear Delinquent
Ann Townsend | Sarabande Books | 9781946448347 | May 2019
“Ann Townsend has borrowed her title, Dear Delinquent, from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s method of addressing her lover, Salomón de la Selva. The lyric eroticism in this book, however, is Townsend’s alone, a volume of allowed and disallowed passions, a painfully precise investigation of love, probed, categorized, and dissected by Townsend’s disciplined, sharply delicate lyric stylus.”—New York Journal of Books

Dead Extra
Sean Carswell | Prospect Park Books | 9781945551475 | May 2019
Dead Extra explores the nebulous land that is Hollywood in the late ’40s. With more than a tip of the fedora to those masters of crime noir, Chandler and Hammett, Dead Extra paints a post-war portrait of corruption and violence in the land where fantasy rules.”—New York Journal of Books

Original Prin
Randy Boyagoda | Biblioasis | 9781771962452 | May 2019
“That Boyagoda can take on faith, global capitalism, religious terrorism, upper-middle-class preciousness and self-delusion—all the while implicating Canada in traditionally ‘American’ problems—attests to his talent. It also manages to be a taut and funny novel throughout.”—America Magazine

The Fifth Woman
Nona Caspers | Sarabande Books | 9781946448170 | August 2018
“I learned much about craft and tone from reading The Fifth Woman. I found myself constantly plunging into and then climbing out of dark holes. I reveled in rooting into the dark, icy ground, digging my nails into the rocky dirt. And I exulted when I finally surfaced, gulping air and blinking into the clear, bright light. Caspers’s brilliance rests in her light yet firm touch: a use of language that is simultaneously tempered yet lush.”—The Cincinnati Review

The Lake on Fire
Rosellen Brown | Sarabande Books | 9781946448231
“[A] deceptively addictive, grand saga of life and love leavened by Chicago’s Gilded Age seductions.”—Daily North Shore

The Naked Woman
Armonia Somers | The Feminist Press at CUNY | 9781936932436 | November 2018
“Its language explodes and sparkles and it is continuously open to astonishing images. . . . The Naked Woman works both as a visionary linguistic experience, and an allegory of the female body’s dark powers.”—Full Stop

How Do You Smoke a Weed? 
Lin Visel and Joseph Bergin III | Iron Circus Comics | 9781945820168 | April 2019
“A perfect comic (and guide) that dispels helpful information without being too preachy.”—Quirktastic

Death Threat
Vivek Shraya and Ness Lee | Arsenal Pulp Press | 9781551527505 | May 2019
“In transcending hate and ignorance with strength and vulnerability Shraya, with the assistance of Ness Lee and [colorists] Emmett Phan and Hieng Tang, deliver a message of hope and courage to all trans women.”—Gay League

The Oasis This Time: Living and Dying with Water in the West
Rebecca Lawton | Torrey House Press | 9781937226930 | March 2019
“A powerful call for smarter water policy . . . [Lawton’s] perspectives as an Oregon native, a geologist, a birder and a river guide culminate in ‘a constant grief about climate and water’ as she confronts the short- and long-term effects of human behavior on desert, river, coastal, forest and other landscapes. Closing an essay on the 2017 wildfires in Northern California, she offers an observation that applies just as well to humans’ only oasis in this universe: ‘We’re all hunkered down in the same refuge.'”—The Oregonian

Make/Shift
Joe Sacksteder | Sarabande Books | 9781946448323 | April 2019
“This collection by Joe Sacksteder is filled with characters who find themselves in varying states of mature and immature, in trying to know and be known, accepting and rejecting the identities they’re constantly creating. They also play the piano. Several characters do, at least, and the way that Sacksteder writes music into their lives gave me a surprising desire, in the middle of reading, to go off and learn to play piano myself. (I’m not sure that this was the intended outcome, but it was an outcome for me nonetheless.)”—Into the Void

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