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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.