Book Reviews

Long Man by Amy Greene

Long-man

As we move further into its rather speedy 270 pages, and narrow into the actions of short fiction, Greene not only redeems, but outdoes all expectations. The aspects that seem long oncoming offer sensational reward, the very kind that readers who give up early often miss out on.

Vernon Downs by Jaime Clarke

VernonDownsCover

There are many attempts to write something original, or offbeat, in the trends of literary fiction. These attempts include insular references, experimental sectioning, pictographs, and so on, but a good writer can always achieve something original in linear form. Vernon Downs is eccentrically original, and it may not even be a book I like.

Quesadillas by Juan Pablo Villalobos

Quesadilla

Villalobos turns his sharp wit to throwing mud at election fraud, real estate fraud, and the corrupt system that enables the rich ruling class to take advantage of the poor in Mexico, “a country eternally organized around fraud.”

The Unamericans by Molly Antopol

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In this beguiling collection – which is far-ranging yet cohesive – Antopol is looking instead at the basic human need to belong to something or someone, to find one’s place in a continuum, be it familial, historical, or both.

Mira Corpora by Jeff Jackson

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In Mira Corpora, Jeff Jackson’s remarkable nightmarish fugue of a novel, the novel itself becomes the exemplification of the writer’s routine.

Features

Interview: Linn Ullmann

Linn Ullmann

Several weeks before the U.S. release of her fifth novel, The Cold Song, I met Ullmann at the Other Press office on Park Avenue, where we spoke about the metamorphosis of literature in translation, causality and consequence, and the “voices in her head” that influence in her work.

Interview: Lipika Pelham

Lipika Pelham

One of the most complicated and controversial contemporary subjects has to be the Israel/Palestine question. Presenting the situation through the lens of a highly personal memoir, The Unlikely Settler, filmmaker and former BBC journalist Lipika Pelham may have illuminated the issue in a way that journalism can’t.

Interview: Lara Vapnyar

Lara Vapnyar

Lara Vapnyar is the acclaimed author of There Are Jews in My House, Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love, Memoirs of a Muse, and The Scent of Pine, which is about an unhappily married woman named Lena and her weekend affair with a man named Ben.

Interview: Kim Fu

Kim Fu

For Today I Am a Boy tells the story of Peter Huang, the transgender son of rigid immigrant parents, who grows up in a small Canadian town.

Interview: Rabih Alameddine

Rabih Alameddine

Rabih Alameddine is the Lebanese-American author of The Hakawati, Koolaids, The Perv, I, Divine, and, most recently, The Unnecessary Woman, which is about a seventy-two year old woman named Aailya who lives in Beirut and translates books into Arabic, but never publishes her translations.

Interview: Pedro Mairal

Pedro mairal

The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra tells the story of Juan Salvatierra, a man who became mute after a horse-riding accident and began painting a series of long rolls of canvas detailing life in his village along Argentina’s river border with Uruguay. After Salvatierra’s death, his sons return to make sense of the pictures their father left behind—and to find one roll of canvas that has mysteriously gone missing.

Interview: Brendan Kiely

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On a cold winter evening, Tweed’s editor Randy Rosenthal visited Brendan Kiely in his Greenwich Village apartment to discuss his debut novel, The Gospel of Winter, which is about teenagers dealing with sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

Interview: Olga Grjasnowa

Olga

Grjasnowa writes in strong and declarative yet flippant sentences that tend to undermine the importance of the serious topics she tackles; All Russians Love Birch Trees revolves around the themes of trauma, genocide, religion, racism, xenophobia, anger, communication, the immigrant experience, and how all these are intrinsically tied together.