Online Edition: WINTER 2009/2010

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INTERVIEWS

FEATURES

Notes from Footnotes:
New Directions in David Foster Wallace Studies

Our man on the ground evaluates a recent conference devoted to new ways
of thinking about Wallace’s oeuvre.
essay by Scott F. Parker

Papeles inesperados
Unexpected Writings of Julio Cortázar

Published twenty-five years after Julio Cortázar’s death, this collection of little-known texts will excite fans of the famed Argentine author.
Reviewed by Jay Miskowiec


Reviews

FICTION

Leaving Tangier
Tahar Ben Jelloun

Jelloun paints a compelling Morrocan world that draws the reader effortlessly into the familiar human situations that know no cultural divide. Reviewed by Steve Street

No Tomorrow
Vivant Denon

The variety of guises in which No Tomorrow has appeared—and this handsome new translation by Lydia Davis must of course be considered another—is in keeping with its subject: the semi-divine smoke and gorgeously warped mirrors of 18th-century erotic adventure. Reviewed by Laird Hunt

Spoon
Robert Greer

Set near Hardin, Montana in 1991, Spoon is a modern-day Western, complete with good guys, bad guys, and inclement weather. Reviewed by Jaspar Lepak

Hound
Vincent McCaffrey

In this debut novel, an online bookseller appraises a treasure trove of early 20th-century tomes that lead him to two book-related mysteries and many unexplained deaths. Reviewed by Kristin Thiel

Old Girlfriends
David Updike

Updike’s painterly gift with description carries through this collection of short stories, making the reader wish there were more to savor. Reviewed by Daniel Picker

Dance with Snakes & The She-Devil in the Mirror
Horacio Castellanos Moya

Two recent translations bring Moya’s mysterious and suspenseful take on Latin America to English-speaking readers. Reviewed by Scott Bryan Wilson

Ladies and Gentleman, The Bible!
Jonathan Goldstein

Call it the second coming: The Bible is back. Goldstein joins the holy hullaballoo with this collection of stories focusing on what the good book most lacks: humor. Reviewed by by Jesse Tangen-Mills

The Bridge of the Golden Horn
Emine Sevgi Özdamar

Özdamar’s novel follows the life of a young Turkish woman as she awakens to sexual desire and the turbulent political life of the late 1960s. Reviewed by Jeff Bursey

YOUNG ADULT FICTION

Exodus and Zenith
Julie Bertagna

Bertagna imagines a worst-case scenario in her young adult books Exodus and Zenith, which follow the survivalist adventures of a rag tag group of people from all walks of life after most inhabited land has been swallowed up by the rising oceans. Reviewed by Kelly Everding

NONFICTION

Learning from Language
Symmetry, Asymmetry, and Literary Humanism

Walter H. Beale

Beale asks the age-old question: does language have a direct relation with reality or is it entirely arbitrary and so of no real help in working our way toward real truths and to a better society? Reviewed by W. C. Bamberger

Robert Bolaño: The Last Interview
translated by Sybil Perez

In this collection of four interviews conducted between 1999 and 2003, Bolaño speaks frankly and candidly with his various interviewers, revealing his vastly erudite intelligence and knowledge as well as his skewed humor. Reviewed by Mark Terrill

The Possible Life Of Christian Boltanski
Catherine Grenier and Christian Boltanski

Part sober rumination and part look-at-me exposé, this oral autobiography covers all manner of topics, including the artist’s childhood, family, career, marriage, friendships, successes, failures, and ongoing cogitation on death. Reviewed by Mason Riddle

Beats at Naropa: An Anthology
Edited by Anne Waldman and Laura Wright

This anthology collects talks and interviews culled mainly from the voluminous audio archives of Naropa University’s writing program, founded in 1974 by poets Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman. Reviewed by Peter Conners

Teaching Critical Thinking
bell hooks

The prominent African American feminist educator and cultural critic continues her important "teaching trilogy" with these engaging and thought-provoking mini-essays culled from dialogues with her students. Reviewed by Jen Besemer

Hiding Man: A Biography of Donald Barthelme
Tracy Daugherty

One cannot read this book without recognizing that Barthelme was the dominant writer of his generation or that Daugherty will be one of the leading literary biographers of his own. Reviewed by Jacob M. Appel

Born to Run
Christopher McDougall

McDougall discovers the Tarahumara Indians of the Copper Canyons in Mexico, a legendary tribe whose members, even its elderly members, participate in ridiculously long races without suffering injury. Reviewed by Scott F. Parker

POETRY

Dance Dance Revolution
Cathy Park Hong

Hong’s sophomore release, Dance Dance Revolution, employs an unapologetic linguistic energy and a grasp of recent Korean history to forge a story that is both light-hearted and worldly, both comically absurd and solemnly nostalgic. Reviewed by Dale Terasaki

The New North and Poets for Palestine

Two new poetry anthologies focus on particular geographical areas that have seen their share of strife and violence in their long histories. Reviewed by Tim Keane

Fort Red Border
Kiki Petrosino

This dual review delves deep into Petrosino’s “genius of the exactingly sensual”—with a healthy dose of Robert Redford. Reviewed by Haines Eason and Jay Thompson

Last Call at the Tin Palace
Paul Pines

In Pines’s new volume of poems, acts of remembrance become studies in reclamation; the subjects and places these poems consider are summoned with a boundless faith in their preservation. Reviewed by Jon Curley

Acropolis and Tram: Poems 1938–1978
Nikos Engonopoulos

This selection of poetry shows how Engonopoulos took Surrealism furthest, largely because he practiced both writing and painting (devoting himself primarily to painting after 1948). Reviewed by George Kalamaras

GRAPHIC NOVELS

The Book of Genesis
Illustrated by R. Crumb

Bibles have been around for centuries, but there’s never been a version like this. Reviewed by Britt Aamodt

Masterpiece Comics
R. Sikoryak

This sumptuous volume compiles Sikoryak’s parodies of classic literature in a letter-perfect imitation of a classic comic book or strip, raising provocative questions about literary discourse along the way. Reviewed by John Pistelli



 

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