Category Archives: Reviews

A selection of recent reviews our publishers’ books have received.

This Week’s Reviews

The Readers’ Room
Antoine Laurain, trans. Emily Boyce, Jane Aitken, and Polly Mackintosh | Gallic Books | 9781910477977 | September 2020
“’Replete with treats for bibliophiles and armchair vigilantes alike, The Readers’ Room is engrossing mystery novel that plumbs the writing process for its most dangerous potential.”—Foreword Reviews

Tiger Girl
Pascale Petit | Bloodaxe Books | 9781780375267 | September 2020
Tiger Girl explores my grandmother’s Indian heritage and the fauna and flora of subcontinental jungles. Tiger girl is my grandmother, who brought me up with tales of wild tigers, but she’s also the endangered predators I encountered in Central India, with their threats of poaching, species extinction, and deforestation. In this overpopulated country, so many charismatic megafauna, such as tigers, leopards, elephants and sloth bears, have to inhabit smaller and smaller territories, next to displaced and impoverished forest tribes and local farmers. National parks and tiger reserves like Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh, where I spent most of my time, are like a crucible, where humanity and wildlife struggle for survival.”—Writer’s Rebel

New Bad News
Ryan Ridge | Sarabande Books | 9781946448569 | May 2020
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the Louisville, Kentucky-based Sarabande Books for swooning and selecting Ridge’s story collection New Bad News as the fourteenth annual publication in the Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature. The collection deftly counterbalances flash fiction as brief as a single well-stocked sentence with lengthier pieces, escalating with fever dream pacing into pop-culture-laden experimental explorations of Americana and narrative itself.”—Southern Review of Books

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This Week’s Reviews

The Sleeping Car Murders
Sébastien Japrisot, trans. Francis Price | Gallic Books | 9781910477939 | August 2020
“With its pacy plotting and vivid evocation of locales, this is a stellar example of why Japrisot is held in such high esteem.”—European Literature Network

Hull
Xandria Phillips | Nightboat Books | 9781643620084 | October 2019
“Phillips produces an account of Black existence, while also summoning breath, touch, and taste as tools of emancipation and resistance.”—Broad Street Review

A Little More Red Sun on the Human
Gillian Conoley | Nightboat Books | 9781643620114 | October 2019
“This epic 320-page-plus collection is a necessary addition to your poetry library. In it, language feels as if it has been reinvented in order to speak the truth of this new age where the pillars of thought we once relied on: history, religion and memory, are at once questioned and reexamined and where the natural world still rises like a phoenix from the havoc we’ve made.”—Poetry Flash

Obit
Victoria Chang | Copper Canyon Press | 9781556595745 | April 2020
“How fitting that this otherworldly book of tributes to the no longer living lands, at this moment in this world, in our collective hands.”—Kenyon Review

A Wave of Stars
Dolores Brown, illus. Sonja Wimmer | NubeOcho | 9788417673413 | July 2020
“The artwork provided by Sonja Wimmer is a watery dream–filled with beautiful shades of blue and green punctuated with bright colors for the different sea plants and sea creatures. She alternates between colored illustrations and black and white ink drawings which adds a unique touch to the illustrations in the story.”—Youth Services Book Review

Witchy Things
Mariasole Brusa, illus. Marta Sevilla | NubeOcho | 9788417673604 | August 2020
“This book is perfect for children between the ages of four and seven years old, especially if they enjoy witches, goblins, and such during the Halloween season–although this is not a Halloween story.”—Youth Services Book Review

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This Week’s News

You can count Alexander Chee among the many fans of Justin Chin! On Entertainment Weekly’s Untold Stories podcast, Chee expressed admiration for the writer: “The impact Justin Chin had on an entirely writerly generation is something to register.”See for yourself with Chin’s Selected Works (edit. Jennifer Joseph, Manic D Press).

The Millions has released their list of the most anticipated books for the second half of the year, and several Consortium titles made the cut: Lord the One You Love is Sick by Kasey Thornton, Out of Mesopotamia by Salar Abdoh, Ramifications by Daniel Saldaña París and translated by Christina MacSweeney, and Stranger Faces by Namwali Serpell. 

The Names of all the Flowers by Melissa Valentine was recommended by Bitch Media on July 13. Reviewer Evette Dionne compared the memoir to Jesmyn Ward’s Men We Reaped. Check out the excerpt shared by Literary Hub on July 15.

A poem from Linda Hogan’s A History of Kindness (Torrey House Press) appeared in the Washington Post‘s newsletter on July 17.

A poem from Linda Hogan’s A History of Kindness (Torrey House Press) appeared in the Washington Post‘s newsletter on July 17.

Anastasia Higginbotham, author of Not My Idea (Dottir Press) was interviewed on WABE NPR Atlanta on July 8.

Lizzie Davis’s translator notes from Ornamental by Juan Cárdenas (Coffee House Press) appeared in the Paris Review on July 16.

Jody Savin, author of Stitched & Sewn (Prospect Park Books), was interviewed in Lilith on July 14. A profile of Savin also appeared in Jewish News of Northern California on June 24.

Deborah Kalb interviewed Gina Fattore, author of The Spinster Diaries (Prospect Park Books) on July 19.

NYspirit ran an excerpt from Steve Kanji Ruhl’s Enlightened Contemporaries: Three Great Mystics of the Thirteenth Century and Why They Matter Today (Monkfish Book Publishing) on July 15.

Spirituality & Health Magazine featured an article by Sarah Bowen, author of Spiritual Rebel (Monkfish Book Publishing) on July 20.

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This Week’s Reviews

Obit
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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This Week’s Reviews

Fiebre Tropical
Julie Delgado Lopera | The Feminist Press at CUNY | 9781936932757 | March 2020
“The potent sights, sounds, smells and textures of Miami don’t begin to compare with the vibrant, witty interior of a Colombian immigrant teen discovering herself in Juli Delgado Lopera’s dazzling first novel, Fiebre Tropical.”—Shelf Awareness

Growing Up Below Sea Level: A Kibbutz Childhood
Rachel Biale | Mandel Vilar Press | 9781942134633 | April 2020
“[A] breathtaking pursuit novel full of brutality and tenderness.’—Shelf Awareness.”—Reviews by Amos Lassen

A Silent Fury: The El Bordo Mine Fire
Yuri Herrera, trans. Lisa Dillman | And Other Stories | 9781911508786 | June 2020
“A book that demands to be read.”—The Spectator

Like Bismuth When I Enter
Carlos Lara | Nightboat Books | 9781643620190 | April 2020
“Lara’s work—aggressively gorgeous; confident—possesses a syntax (& voice), that despite its brazen eccentricity, we associate with reason.”—Tourniquet Review

Sun of Consciousness
Edouard Glissant, trans. Nathanaël | Nightboat Books | 9781937658953 | February 2020
“This book articulates Glissant’s vision for a future in which literature defies nationality, as he adopts the stance of the poet-seer, calling for a gradual decolonization of the mind.”—Modern Poetry in Translation

The Drive
Yair Assulin, trans. Jessica Cohen | New Vessel Press | 9781939931825 | April 2020
“An intense, com­pact work that presents a point of view on Israeli life that may be unfa­mil­iar and quite sur­pris­ing to non-Israelis. . . . The nov­el presents a ver­sion of the eter­nal con­flict between the indi­vid­ual and soci­ety. . . . The Dri­ve reveals facets of mod­ern Israeli cul­ture not usu­al­ly known out­side of Israel.”—Jewish Book Council

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