Tweed's Book Blog

Inside Madeleine by Paula Bomer

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It might be best to imagine Bomer’s characters as moths endlessly flying toward the flickering blue neon light of a bug-zapper. Desire inevitably leads to futility.

Interview: Ma Thanegi

Ma Thanegi

Ma Thanegi writes about the communality of the inmates, their industriousness, humor, and equanimity in the face of injustice. She describes the women she meets and tells their stories—with prostitutes, pickpockets, and political prisoners making up the cast. She also relates how she raised sparrows, grew herbs, and always wore red lipstick while imprisoned. Still, she’s writing in English about things the government in Myanmar has tried to keep hush-hush, and that’s a pretty significant enterprise.

Animals in Motion by David Ryan

Animals in Motion

Why this is worth mentioning right off is because of how defiant, challenging, wandering, and against grain the stories in David Ryan’s collection are; they possess equal parts quirk and depth—and these are the same attributes necessary for a printing press in our current market to maintain.

Interview: Paula Bomer

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I began reading Paula Bomer’s Inside Madeleine on a plane ride.  I sat next to a friend and fellow writer who was working on his own story collection.  He’d published a novel and poetry, but never short stories, and he felt disoriented attempting the new form.  He wanted inspiration.  He wanted a sense of control and…

Interview: Stacey D’Erasmo

Wonderland

In writing previous books I was a little more anxious about the craft police and in this book I just really didn’t care. I wanted it to be in fragments and I wanted it to be lyrical and have a lot of emotion in it and I wanted to roam around between the scenes and have these digressive, meditative moments.

Short Century by David Burr Gerrard

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At times, this tension between the personal and the political becomes uncomfortable, giving Short Century the feeling of a truly fantastic family saga trapped inside a slightly turgid political memoir.

Hope on Earth by Paul E. Ehrlich & Michael Charles Tobias

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Discussing much the same topics as the authors of Gothic fiction, Ehrlich and Tobias are dealing with today’s reality, over a hundred years after Shelley and Stevenson issued their warnings—warnings that were, of course, unheeded.

The Literature Express By Lasha Bugadze

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The Literature Express is at its best when embracing the literary cacophony of its setting. The characters and their furious battle to out-do one another professionally gives the book its bleak humor, and a degree of uneasy edge.

Journey to Karabakh By Aka Morchiladze

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Away from his father, away from Yana, away from the social codes that have governed his life in Tbilisi, Giorgi finds in Karabakh something not unlike inner peace.

Young God by Katherine Faw Morris

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Now, the buzz is drawing comparisons to Denis Johnson and, largely, Flannery O’Connor: stark, effusive, violent, seminal writers. Though after finishing Morris’s debut, I find I’m only struck to agree with this likening in its broadest possible sense, almost to a degree that their connections are contextual, and not what is drawn out of the writing.

Harlequin’s Millions by Bohumil Hrabal

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Entering the most recent English translation of Hrabal’s work, it’s important to realize what it means to have a beautiful sentence exist, even when it doesn’t whet.

Interview: Anthony Doerr

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I’m drawn most to writing that reminds me of the dazzling wonders of the world. That said, of course, I feel cynicism about many things. It’s hard to reach 40 in a tehcno-capitalist society and not become cynical about humanity’s attitude toward resources, or about the way capitalism rewards the profit motive above all else.

War! What Is It Good For? by Ian Morris

WAR!

If I said that war is what brought humanity peace and prosperity, you’d probably say I’m either crazy or a military-industry-funded Republican. Yet that’s the exact premise of Ian Morris’s new book, War! What Is It Good For?

Mount Terminus by David Grand

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Following the death of his wife, Jacob Rosenbloom, veritable inventor of the film projector, moves his son from New York to California in an outward move of grief. Yet, along the way, Bloom, a sharply inquisitive, twelve-year-old, accounts the manner in which the two have been followed, their entire journey, by three looming figures, and he begins to understand it’s not only grief that has motivated his father.

Long Man by Amy Greene

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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

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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.