This Week’s Reviews

Morris Kight: Humanist, Liberationist, Fantabulist
Mary Ann Cherry | Process Media | 9781934170809 | May 2020

“[Author] performs an invaluable service by recounting aspects of the modern LGBTQ movement that are too often ignored in an era when competing mythologies about the movement’s origins threaten to drown out the voices of those still alive to tell the tales.”—Bay Area Reporter

Made in Saturn
Rita Indiana, trans. Sydney Hutchinson | And Other Stories | 9781911508601 | March 2020
“[Indiana’s] focus on dismantling mythologies and rebuilding from the rubble appears in her most recent novel, Made in Saturn. The book follows Argenis Luna, a young artist sent to a heroin detox programme in Cuba by his father, the decorated revolutionary hero and Dominican politician José Alfredo. As he recovers from his illness, Luna tries to make sense of his father’s legacy – at one point staring at a photo negative of his father throwing Molotovs at police as though it could hold hidden answers. For characters like Luna, family lore, failed revolutions, past traumas and the histories of the Caribbean are both an open wound and a badge of honour. Towards the end of the novel, Luna describes how ‘the love his old man felt for him came to him unblemished, like the homemade bomb at the feet of police’. What he’s inherited from his father is both a beacon, lighting a path for him, and a destructive weapon, forcing him to forge his own way into the unknown.”—Frieze Magazine

Repetition Nineteen
Monica de la Torre | Nightboat Books | 9781643620145 | March 2020
“By presenting the reader with twenty-five different translations of the same poem—which deliberately raises questions about what it means for multiple poems to have ‘sameness,’ or to come from the same ‘source’ poem—de la Torre implicitly argues for the translations as a sort of palimpsest or layering-over.”—Colorado Review

Love & Peace: 37 Eternal Reflections
Alexandra Villard de Borchgrave | GILES | 9781911282587 | September 2020
“This special gift book with gilded edges takes the reader on an uplifting journey with inspirational quotes that are as relevant today as they were years, even centuries, ago.”—Eden Magazine

Duran Duran, Imelda May, and Me
Lorine Mapa | Coundrum Press | 9781772620115 | September 2017
“Mapa is a charming host with a strong memory for detail, yet able to avoid becoming bogged down in irrelevance. . . . Anyone reading Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos and Me will spend time with a raconteur, laugh and maybe even shed a tear before wondering where the time went.”—The Slingers and Arrow

The Pencil
Susan Avingaq, Maren Vsetula, Charlene Chua | Inhabit Media | 9781772272161 | September 2019
“Based on the author’s childhood memories of growing up in an iglu, this story is about being responsible for belongings and community.”—Omnilibros

Small Mercies
Bridget Krone, illus. Karen Vermeulen |
Catalyst Press | 9781946395177 | February 2020
“Bridget Krone’s debut novel shines as an example of life in the new South Africa. While realistic about the effects of poverty, caregivers’ struggle to provide effective care, and child abuse, the narrative is not message-heavy. These themes are subtly integrated with others about an endearing child who needs love and security, who closely observes what is happening around her and sometimes finds it confusing or worrisome, and who ultimately finds her voice.”—Africa Access Online

On the Run with Mary
Jonathan Barrow | New Vessel Press | 9781939931245 | November 2015
“Words fail to adequately describe the twisted–and rousing–experience of reading this bizarre little book . . . reading it feels like running a marathon at full tilt: every other sentence quickens the pace of an already breakneck cavalcade of horror and humor.”—Bloom

Andrew Durbin | Nightboat Books | 9781643620275 | July 2020
“Certainly, there is more than meets the eye in this slim novella. Skyland tells a story of lust and desire — for men, sure, but for something more complex, too. It’s a story about reaching new planes of discovery within one’s creative practice. Ultimately, Durbin is most interested in pushing the boundaries of what is considered fiction.”—Full Stop

Salvation Canyon
Ed Rosenthal | DoppelHouse Press | 9781733957977 | June 2020
“The writing is marvelous, the language wholly appropriate, with snatches of humor defying the reality. Salvation Canyon is a wondrous cautionary tale, enjoyable because of what can only be termed ‘a happy ending.’”—Manhattan Book Review

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