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Beyond the Previously Known Bard

There are a number of books relating to Shakespeare and Italy, but none like The Shakespeare Guide to Italy.

In Conversation

ELISSA SCHAPPELL with Jenine Holmes

Sigmund Freud famously asked, “What does a woman want?” Elissa Schappell seeks the answers with her second fiction collection, Blueprints for Building Better Girls.

This Young Girl Passing

The year is 1976. Vietnam is stagnating, the kids are smoking homegrown, and high school French teacher Bill Richardson keeps a long-legged junior named Sarah after class to discuss her failing grade.

Lost with Phone

If the Internet brought us to the Age of Information, social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace have ushered in a new era altogether, one that trades in data for documentation.

To Assume a Pleasing Shape

An innate sense of sadness and joy runs through Joseph Salvatore’s To Assume A Pleasing Shape.

Body Variations

Memoir writing has grown commonplace. With the advent of Blogspot and the “Upload Photo” option on Facebook to capture minutiae, the actual art of creating a narrative out of the significant, and not-so, events in a life gets undervalued and ignored.

Downward Spiral

The unnamed protagonist of J. A. Tyler’s A Shiny, Unused Heart reaches the endpoint of his chosen demise in the novella’s opening sentence: “Everything had gone to burning, blood-colored skies, and he leapt or jumped, danced or waltzed, carried himself off the building ledge, eighty-seven stories up.”

Poetry as Alchemy

Ariana Reines casts a powerful spell with her sublimely hardcore poems in Mercury.

Hooked on Interest

The straight male fantasy of suburban, upper-middle-class affluence (dutiful wife, two-plus kids, multi-car garage, Saturday soccer practice, etc.) upends itself in John Franc’s stunt of a novel, Hooked.

The Makings of An American

In the introduction to “Something Urgent I Have to Say to You,” a new critical biography of William Carlos Williams, Herbert Leibowitz writes, “What most distinguished Williams was his drive to turn himself into a masterful American poet.”

In Conversation

JUSTIN TORRES with Jenine Holmes

We the Animals is well-crafted like a great martini, coming in smooth with a potent punch. The semi-autobiographical portrait of three young brothers, raised by tragically young parents in an upstate blue-collar town, emerges in a compact 128 pages.


Uncanny describes the effect Peter Doig’s figures activate. They appear like reflections in a weathered mirror in which you recognize yourself with a slight start.

Blog Posts from an American Poet

Muumuu House, purveyor of relevant, artful, interesting literature, has published a book of poetry composed of blog posts by Megan Boyle. This work is terrifyingly open, daringly honest, and elegantly innovative in its sparse use of words.

In Conversation


i>The Coffin Factory is a new literary magazine. Its first issue published new stories, essays, and poetry by Joyce Carol Oates, Bonnie Nadzam, Bernard Quiriny, John Reed and Fred Reynolds, and old stories by Milan Kundera and José Saramago, among others. I met Randy Rosenthal and Laura Isaacman, the magazine’s editors, in Park Slope’s Tea Lounge.

In Conversation

MAX WINTER AND LISA LUBASCH with Megan Gillin-Schwartz

Award-winning New York City-based poets Lisa Lubasch and Max Winter recently launched Solid Objects, printing novella-size books in a wide range of literary aesthetics and approaches.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 11-JAN 12

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