Mary is a freewheeling, free dealing son of a gun. Just joking. She works at a bookstore and knows what books are.
Let’s talk about how much I love Wilson’s funny, sensitive study of pop criticism. Wilson explores our cultural conceptions of “taste” through the music of Celine Dion, who is both a hugely popular singer with an intensely devoted fan base and a critical punching bag condemned as being too schmaltzy to be cool. You’ll like this book. Trust me—I have great taste.
What a stellar, spectacular debut collection from one of my favorite Seattle poets! Wong’s writing is compelling, immersive, and fresh. Her verse is filled to the brim with the ghosts of family, history, and past selves. Overpour overtook me and I emerged feeling I had read something completely new.
King examines how our perception of ourselves and other people is shaped and bound up in the stories we hear and the stories we tell. His own fantastic storytelling navigates ethical and social responsibility of readership by interweaving stories from the First Nation oral tradition, racist propaganda about indigenous people created by white people, and loving, personal anecdotes. King warns that once a story is in the world, it can’t be taken back. We should be thankful, then, for King’s stories—they have the power to make us better readers (and people) for having read them.
At last, Ema, the Captive has been translated into English. Translated by the masterful Chris Andrew, this early Aira novel follows Ema through colonial Argentina as she joins or is captured by different peoples she encounters. Ema is a resilient and intensely curious character who wants to understand and achieve full presence in time. The novel playfully oscillates between the narrative and the philosophical, as the details blur into one beautiful, splendid portrait. Aira's remarkable talent is immensely apparent in this early work and it is not to be missed.
Randa Jarrar's collection of short stories is filled with characters who cackle with wit in the face of life's absurdities and disappointments. Her protagonists are Arab women across the globe who confront a variety of fantastical realities, dismal futures, or complicated family dramas. Jarrar writes each character with such lyrical intensity that their individual voices and sharp perspectives stay with you long after you’ve finished reading. It is rare that a book can have so much humor and heart in equal measure. This sparkling collection is truly wonderful and engaging, a joy to read.