A Conversation about ‘Crossings” by Alex Landragin

In a first for this site, I recorded a conversation with my brilliant, wonderful friend Dr. Martina Shabram about the recently-released novel Crossings by Alex Landragin. This novel has a formal innovation where you can read it straight through as three free-standing but interconnected novellas (Martina's way) or via the "Baroness method," which tells you … Continue reading A Conversation about ‘Crossings” by Alex Landragin

Quickly, and With the Lights On: ‘Heads of the Colored People.’

There are the books that you savor, make yourself go slow, take them in, bite by bite. There are books that you scarf, like a glutton at a feast, gulping mouthfuls and barely stopping to taste. And then there are books that you read in a rush, but with eyes wide open, because they contain … Continue reading Quickly, and With the Lights On: ‘Heads of the Colored People.’

On the Re-Reading Life and Vivian Gornick’s ‘Unfinished Business’

Looking over my reading list this past year I saw stellar book after stellar book. Bam, bam, bam, nearly all excellent reads. And then I got to the past few weeks and realized that things lately have been merely fine—good but not great, decent but not deepening. And then I picked up Vivian Gornick's Unfinished … Continue reading On the Re-Reading Life and Vivian Gornick’s ‘Unfinished Business’

Beyond Dystopia

A woman revisits the detention center where she and other Muslim/Arab-Americans were interned to retrieve her dead brother's property in Omar El Akkad's "Riverbed." A contemporary bruja carves out a new society with her lover in Mexico, one where brainwashed American soldiers may find respite from the atrocities they've committed, in Lizz Huerta's "The Wall." … Continue reading Beyond Dystopia