This Week’s Reviews

Xandria Phillips | Nightboat Books | 9781643620084 | October 2019
Hull demonstrates Phillips’s ability to expand the lyric to its breaking point, which makes this book a promising debut.”—Rain Taxi

Small Mercies
Bridget Krone, illus. Karen Vermeulen |
Catalyst Press | 9781946395177 | February 2020
“This poignant, charming, perfect gem of a novel  has the wonderfully timeless feel of a classic although it is set in modern-day, post-apartheid  South Africa, in the City of Pietermaritzburg, the author’s home. It’s a small book with an uplifting message of love and community that resonates in our troubled times.”—Buffalo News

Growing Up Below Sea Level: A Kibbutz Childhood
Rachel Biale | Mandel Vilar Press | 9781942134633 | April 2020
“Biale is a gifted storyteller.”—Jewish Journal

Bluebeard’s First Wife
Seong-nan Ha, trans. Janet Hong | Open Letter | 9781948830171 | June 2020
“Uses myth to make visible the human condition—one marked by disappointment, loneliness, and loss.”—Ploughshares

The Malevolent Volume
Justin Phillip Reed | Coffee House Press | 9781566895767 | April 2020
“Reed’s incendiary new collection, The Malevolent Volume, celebrates a selfhood germinated in the darkness of those spaces that society deems monstrous. With breathtaking lyrical dexterity, Reed first rebukes and then remakes western literature and myth, bringing Black queerness to the forefront. . . . Reed performs a deft sleight-of-hand to embrace the territory of horror and monstrousness—harnessing its inherent power to threaten the status quo.”—Adroit Journal

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