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Deft, Eloquent, Shiversome, and Timely

Aimee Parkison’s new collection of stories, for which Parkison was awarded the FC2 Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize, outshines many contemporary literary conversations on misogyny, the “female body,” and women’s rights.

In Conversation

This Ever-Migrating Curse:
Hannah Lillith Assadi with Sean Madigan Hoen

You might call Hannah Lillith Assadi’s first novel, Sonora, a work of superstitious realism. Though the book’s events are grounded in reality and plausibility, its narrator, Ahlam, is a young woman of such elegiac, mystic perception that one comes away from her story as if awaking on a post-lysergic morning: memories feel slanted and opaque, scenes haunted and possibly dreamed.

Emotional Tumult, Formal Play

Albert Mobilio’s Games and Stunts is a weirdly devastating book, one whose heft you can’t imagine on picking up the slim volume.

Knott Knowing

When Bill Knott’s death at the age of seventy-four was reported on March 12, 2014, a number of friends, fans, and professional associates questioned the truth of the story.

Killers of the Flower Moon

Certainly Grann’s work isn’t easy (if it is, Mr. Grann, please don't correct the record)...

In Conversation

Saints & Sinners: JOSIP NOVAKOVICH with Coe Douglas

We contend with quite a few illusions about things, versus how they really are.

In Conversation

Aperture for Glimpsing the Abyss: ALEXANDER BOLDIZAR with Kevin Winchester

If I didn’t have ears, I’d be smiling all the way around my head.

Not Another Holocaust Novel

The author is walking a very tight rope, high up in the air, juggling pots, pans, and maybe even a few blenders.

Inside the Museums, Infinity Goes Up On Trial

Peter Conners’ book, Cornell ’77 The Music, The Myth, and the Magnificence of the Grateful Dead’s Concert at Barton Hall is out in time for the fortieth anniversary of the show.  And like the collective gasp heard throughout the Deadhead community when the “Betty Boards” (reel-to-reel soundboard tapes of the Grateful Dead originally recorded by Betty Cantor-Jackson between 1971-80; more on that to come) were released in the late 1980s (the Barton Hall show among them), it’s high time we have a bit more context around the debate over what legions of Heads consider the greatest show the band ever played on the one hand and what others consider merely a well-played but over-rated show on the other.

Found Footage

“The film begins,” And Then (Black Sparrow, 2017) begins, but it doesn’t take readers long to forget we are reading a summarized account of actors acting; a transcription of a script in place of the opening pages of a novel, or a novel so concerned with the detritus of past love, death, and desire it can only be told through the lens of cinema. After all, memory and film both offer us the same fractured, shifting projection. Donald Breckenridge’s fourth novel weaves in and out of frames without ever lacking clarity—a roll of film replaced and inserted in quick, immediate accounts—it only makes sense that And Then begins on someone else’s story.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2017

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