This Week’s Reviews

Victoria Chang | Copper Canyon Press | 9781556595745 | April 2020

“Chang’s employment of [language] is beautiful and resonant.”—New Republic

Beautiful Aliens
Steve Abbott, edit. Jamie Townsend | Nightboat Books | 9781643620152 | December 2019
“What this Reader explores most of all is the ethical question of how we might live our lives across the ties and blocks of love, friendship, activism, and family (with the latter understood well beyond the heteropatriarchal nuclear unit). The role of the poet (or writer in general) as an orientation, an identification, a stance of being in the world, was above all Steve Abbott’s most precious chosen call.”—Chicago Review of Books

Beppina and the Kitchens of Arezzo
Elizabeth Romer | Prospect Books | 9781909248663 | October 2020
“Beppina is a dazzling culinary treatise, and Romer is a proud, knowledgeable guide through Arezzo’s distinctive foodways, underscoring that ‘food is a major expression of culture.’”—Foreword Reviews

The Piano Student
Lea Singer, trans. Elisabeth Lauffer | New Vessel Press | 9781939931863 | October 2020
“This is an engrossing, beautifully written novel that brings into focus an inimitable artist who ascended to great heights as a pianist despite his hidden life as a gay man.”—Van Magazine

The Drive
Yair Assulin, trans. Jessica Cohen | New Vessel Press | 9781939931825 | April 2020
“Assulin’s narrator is a complex and believable human being rather than a character whose role is to criticize the army’s role in Israeli identity and policy … ‘The Drive’ is a purposefully uncomfortable tale. To be sure, Assulin is an assured and accomplished writer, and his short novel captures and holds our attention, roils our emotions, and challenges our comfortable assumptions. Above all, the author is fully aware he has created a character who is both troubled and troubling, and he makes no apology for it.”—Jewish Journal

Villa of Delirium
Adrian Goetz, trans. Natasha Lehrer | New Vessel Press | 9781939931801 | August 2020
“A re-creation of … a family that had both immense wealth but was also ultra-intellectual. Based on real-life figures, Goetz describes a fascinating world. . . . There’s a passionate love affair, too . . . Goetz fashions quite an appealing novel out of this rich historical material . . . an engaging, colorful read.”—The Complete Review

Copper Yearning
Kimberly Blaeser | Holy Cow! Press | 9781513645612 | November 2019
Copper Yearning does what only poetry can do. It puts us so deeply in the perspective of the poet that every line which connects us resonates with a profundity that borders on the sacred, and every line that divides us is uncomfortable in its discordance, a chord we need to resolve. Truly powerful art is not afraid to make its audience uncomfortable, nor does it feel the need to offer resolutions. It demands engagement, and in this way, Blaeser’s poems are radical.”—World Literature Today

The Secret of the Tattered Shoes
Jackie Morris, illus. Ehsan Abdollahi | Tiny Owl Publishing | 9781910328378 | November 2020
“It is sometimes a challenge to describe his artwork. The images are somewhat abstract, yet clear and beautiful at the same time. His use of color and light seem to make the pages glow–especially in this story where many of the events happened in the dark of night.”—Youth Services Book Review

Paris Cat
Dianne Hofmeyr, illus. Piet Grobler | Tiny Owl Publishing | 9781910328620 | September 2020
“This is a cute story about a little cat in Paris who travels around the city creating a wonderful and magical life.”—Youth Services Book Review

The New Baby and Me
Christine Kidney, illus. Hoda Haddadi | Tiny Owl Publishing | 9781910328187 | September 2020
“This is an absolutely perfect book to have for a family with young children that are expecting another little bundle of joy.”—Youth Services Book Review

Sion’s Misfortune
Chen Jiafei, illus. Wang Ran | KaradiTales Picturebooks | 9788193654255 | September 2020
“A philosophical tale cleverly highlighting the shifting nature of perspectives as they evolve over time.”— Youth Services Book Review

Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Gerda Muller | Floris Books | 9781782506287 | September 2020
“This is a gentle re-telling of the traditional tale.”—Youth Services Book Review

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