This Week’s Reviews

Apsara Engine
Bishakh Som | The Feminist Press at CUNY | 9781936932818 | April 2020
“Richly hued, gorgeously lettered, and often exquisitely detailed, Som’s work, the writing as well as the art, presents a brave new world of diverse women.”—Booklist, starred review

Bluebeard’s First Wife
Seong-nan Ha, trans. Janet Hong | Open Letter | 9781948830171 | June 2020
“Ha’s outstanding collection delivers heavy doses of guilt, hope, and pain. Dark, strange, and simultaneously cohesive and diverse, these stories show a superb writer in full force.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Outside the Lines
Ameera Patel | Catalyst Press | 9781948830171 | June 2020

“Patel displays an exceptional ability to plumb the depths of her characters, each of whose points of view throws light on the realities of the other narrators. Rays of hope and gentle overtures to love lift this vibrant novel.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Choice Words
edit. Annie Finch | Haymarket Books | 9781642591484 | April 2020
“A landmark literary anthology of poetry and prose on the subject of a woman’s right to choose.”—Shelf Awareness

Fiebre Tropical
Juli Delgado Lopera | The Feminist Press at CUNY/Amethyst Editions | 9781936932757 | March 2020 | iPage
“What Lopera pulls from that [Miami] heat in an inimitable voice is a bold, stylistic, and deeply moving examination of generational sadness, deferred desire, and the budding seeds of personal revolution that is entirely their own”—Los Angeles Review of Books

Art Life
Catherine Ocelot, trans. Aleshia Jensen (Translated by) | BDANG | 9781772620467 | April 2020
“[Art Life] unfolds conversationally with a sly sense of humor. And Ocelot’s charming artwork dispenses of any prejudice you could bring.”—Comics Beat

Hilary Leichter | Coffee House Press | 9781566895668 | March 2020
“[A] refreshingly whimsical debut that explores the agonies of millennial life under late capitalism with the kind of surrealist humor that will offer anxious minds a reprieve from our calamitous news cycle. . . .  Leichter has managed to blend the oddball and the existential into a tale of millennial woe that’s both dreadful and hilarious at once.”—The Washington Post

The Book of Anna
Carmen Boullosa, trans. Samantha Schnee | Coffee House Press | 9781566895774 | April 2020
“[A] slim, playful sequel set in the early twentieth century that is deeply attuned to the concerns of the twenty-first. . . . Part Bluebeard’s Castle, part Cinderella, Anna’s text has a dreamlike, fairy-tale logic and is fueled by a smoldering eroticism. It reads like a feminist rebuke to her static portrait and to Tolstoy’s efforts to ‘fix’ or correct Anna on the page. . . . The Book of Anna succeeds at defamiliarizing Tolstoy’s original, re-envisioning it through an entertaining feminist lens.”—Chicago Review of Books

“This translated tale offers a new twist to Anna Karenina that centers her children on the eve of the Russian Revolution. . . . Boullosa offers an original perspective on this Russian classic that may light the subversive spark lying dormant within.”—Ms. Magazine

House of the Black Spot
Ben Sears | Koyama Press | 9781927668672 | May 2019
“Colorful, inventive, and kinetic in every sense of the term, Sears’ increasing confidence as a visual storyteller is clearly discernible from one book to the next, and his latest, 2019’s House Of The Black Spot, continues this happy and welcome trend.”—SOLRAD

Breakbeat Poets Volume 4
edit. Felicia Chavez, José Olivarez, Willie Perdomo | Haymarket Books | 9781642591293 | April 2020
“New to poetry and don’t know where to start? Looking to broaden your poetry perspectives? Either way, you should be reading the exceptional Breakbeats Poets series from Haymarket; the latest features the work of Latinx masters and up-and-comers alike. Seriously, just read them all.”—Ms. Magazine

Apsara Engine
Bishakh Som | The Feminist Press at CUNY |
9781936932818 | April 2020
“This richly illustrated graphic novel began as several mini-comics that Som weaved together under connecting strands of women protagonists, the South Asian diasporic experience, and elements of science fiction.”—Ms. Magazine

The Spinster Diaries
Gina Fattore | Prospect Park Books | 9781945551734 | April 2020
“Shine[s] a hilarious light on chick lit, the TV business and spinsterhood. If you need a laugh and want to support indie publishing during this time of uncertainty, this is the book for you.”—Ms. Magazine

Year of the Dog
Deborah Paredez | BOA Editions |
“Candid and chilling, Deborah Paredez’s second collection of poems relates her stories and memories of being a Latinx daughter during the Việt Nam conflict.”—Ms. Magazine

Leila Chatti | Copper Canyon Press | 9781556595899 | April 2020
“Leila Chatti’s powerful collection of poems centers her faith, health, embodiment, shame and womanhood.”—Ms. Magazine

Nothing to See Here
Howard Chackowicz | Conundrum Press | 9781772620429 | December 2019
“Chackowicz’s approach ranges from the laugh out loud funny to deeply unsettling introspection, all colored with a dark and often bleak wit.”—Broken Frontier

A Little More Red Sun on the Human
Gillian Conoley | Nightboat Books | 9781643620114 | October 2019

“Wide-ranging stylistically & tonally, from tight early lyrics, to a more ‘experimental’ fragmented middle period to the sprawling, yet precise new [de]compositions that transcend the distinction between lyric and narrative, there’s yet a consistency of vision, elegant freedom.”—Entropy

Big Cabin
Ron Padgett | Coffee House Press | 9781566895491 | July 2019
“What people really need is to read Big Cabin, the new book of poems by Ron Padgett. . . . Padgett’s poetry of implication allows for a lot of good things, laughter that does not make you feel mean or stupid being one of them. Another thing that a poetry of implication can reach is a state of rational mystic bliss, a sense of joy that things as they are can sometimes suffice. . . . What a relief to have this book now.”—On the Seawall

All Heathens
Marianne Chan | Sarabande Books | 9781946448521 | March 2020
All Heathens jiggers what it describes as its own ‘retro-navigation, of the heart.’ . . . It winds up with more generous accounts: of a grandmother who knew music and how to spell her name; a grandfather who built up a business”—Rhino

Yanick Lahens, trans. Emily Gogolak | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920565
| October 2017
“An invigorating and necessary investigation of tradition, politics, loss, and history.”—Ploughshares

The Shore
Chris Nealon | Wave Books | 9781940696973 | April 2020
The Shore is a marvelously, heartbreakingly lyrical book, recasting a Stevensian or Whitmanian personal voice to confront or puzzle through the emotional challenges of our own tentative, pre- or post-apocalyptic moment. It’s hard to imagine a more sympathetic companion than Nealon.”—Wave Books

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