Online Edition: Fall 2010

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The Essayist/Poet as Hacker
Or, My Meander with Ander

An in-depth look at how Ander Monson explores the high-velocity
technological maelstrom of our culture.
essay by Mark Gustafson presents:
Siah Armanjani

A new feature presenting the exceptional work of Minnesota artists.
essay by Ann Klefstad



Aliss at the Fire
Jon Fosse

Norwegian writer Jon Fosse explores the pain of unrelenting grief in this slim novel. Reviewed by Alison Barker

Termite Parade
Joshua Mohr

In his newest novel, Mohr employs three rotating narrators who search for answers to the unanswerable. Reviewed by Adam Hall

Fame: A Novel in Nine Episodes
Daniel Kehlmann

Kehlmann’s collection of stories constitutes a novel that creates a cohesive narrative without the benefit of a perceptible overarching protagonist. Reviewed by Salvatore Ruggiero

Roberto Bolaño

The fifty-six short chapters which compose Antwerp are crucial to an understanding of the Latin sensation, while at the same time finding the writer working in a unique mode. Reviewed by Joshua Willey

From Wǒnso Pond
Kang Kyǒng-ae

Kyǒng-ae delivers a portrait of the ordinary individuals whose lives are torn apart as they struggle to transition from a traditional, agricultural way of life to a modern industrial economy in contemporary South Korea. Reviewed by Sun Yung Shin

Elegy for a Fabulous World
Alta Ifland

Half memoir, half fantasy, Ifland's new collection of stories sprawls across two continents and a lifetime, tracing a cast of characters who are barely alive and objects that are barely inanimate. Reviewed by Matthew Thrasher

Jonathan Franzen

For those who like their fiction burly and tough, and have an abiding fascination with the difficult, Franzen isn’t your man. Reviewed by Tim Jacobs

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
David Mitchell

Often compared to Tolstoy and Pynchon, Mitchell delivers a deeply-imagined historical novel set in Nagasaki, Japan from 1799 to 1817. Reviewed by Ed Taylor

The Patience Stone
Atiq Rahimi

The Afghan writer and filmmaker who fled Afghanistan in 1984 sets his fourth novel during the struggle for power that commenced upon the withdrawal of the Soviets in 1989. Reviewed by Brooke Horvath

Olga Slavnikova

Slavnikova’s Russian Booker Prize-winning novel is set in the Riphean region, an imaginary mountainous area in Russia’s north, in the eponymous year, the centennial of the Russian Revolution. Reviewed by Yevgeniya Traps


The Light Club: On Paul Scheerbart’s The Light Club of Batavia
Josiah McElheny

Originally published in German in 1912 and translated here for the first time, The Light Club concerns a group of rich eccentrics who hatch a plan to create a dazzling, light-saturated underground environment—a spa for “bathing in light”—in an abandoned mine. Reviewed by W. C. Bamberger


Tricia Rayburn

Rayburn's first young adult novel offers a realistic story with just a smidgen of fantasy, playing with the suspension of disbelief every reader enters on reading a work of fiction. Reviewed by Carrie Mercer


An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris
Georges Perec

By observing the intricate “fabric” of one urban intersection, Perec creates a strikingly beautiful poem out of the everyday world. Reviewed by Kevin Carollo

Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man
Bill Clegg

In this memoir, Clegg recounts a prodigious attempt at self-destruction followed by his eventual recovery. Reviewed by Scott F. Parker

The Poetics of Trespass
Erik Anderson

Anderson's twofold project of walking and writing records his “attempt to inscribe language into a non-linguistic space.” Reviewed by Paula Koneazny

Form, Power, and Person in Robert Creeley’s Life and Work
edited by Stephen Fredman and Steve McCaffery

This collection on the great poet marks the occasion of a conference held a year and a half after the poet’s death, where versions of these essays were first presented. Reviewed by Patrick James Dunagan

From Utopia to Apocalypse
Science Fiction and the Politics of Catastrophe
Peter Y. Paik

In this brilliant study, Paik suggests that, with environmental crises looming and our era of material abundance consequently imperiled, we may need to reintroduce some of the lessons of real conservatism into our attempts to better the world. Reviewed by John Pistelli

Chuck Close: Life
Christopher Finch

Authored by his longtime friend and colleague Christopher Finch, Chuck Close: Life attempts to grasp the magnitude and sheer force of the artist’s aesthetic and humanitarian reach, with mixed results. Reviewed by Mason Riddle

A Wall in Palestine
René Backmann

Backmann investigates a bit too objectively the contested “security barrier” dividing Israel from the West Bank. Reviewed by Spencer Dew

A Novel Marketplace: Mass Culture, the Book Trade, and Postwar American Fiction
Evan Brier

Brier resists the tantalizing, yet timeless, question: why don’t people read? Rather, he proffers a richer alternative: why, in a particular historical moment, do we perceive the state of reading to be in crisis? Reviewed by Matthew Thrasher

About a Mountain
John D’Agata

D'Agata's new collection of essays moves from investigative journalism into personal inquiries on fears, habits, and failures—and then morphs again. Reviewed by Cindra Halm

The Signature of All Things: On Method
Giorgio Agamben

This new book by the eminent philosopher is devoted to working through some of Michel Foucault’s key breakthroughs, en route to laying out Agamben’s own conceptions of method. Reviewed by Adrian Doerr


Squeezed Light: Collected Poems 1994 – 2005
Lissa Wolsak

In Wolsak’s poetry, we live and breathe and achieve awareness in a state of unknowing—a domain that is ethical, mystical, pedagogical, spiritual, and profoundly etymological. Reviewed by Hank Lazer

Mean Free Path
Ben Lerner

Lerner's new collection of poetry is shaped by the speaker’s hesitation and fixation on particular words or images, while the book’s concerns with absence and grief, writing and language-cum-politics emerge out of the white noise. Reviewed by Kristen Evans

The Apple Trees at Olema
Robert Hass

Hass has championed poetry through his own writing, his translations, and his stewardship as the U. S. Poet Laureate; this latest volume only confirms his mastery of the art form. Reviewed by James Naiden

Look Back, Look Ahead: Selected Poems
Srecko Kosovel

Kosovel should be read for the cosmopolitan poetic he crafted in the midst of Italian annexation and the increasing pressures of Fascism. Reviewed by Amy Groshek

Cole Swensen & Thomas Nozkowski

From the moment the reader takes flare off the shelf, she is asked to think about space and form—two elements Cole Swensen's poetry and Thomas Nozkowski's paintings challenge on both visual and linguistic registers. Reviewed by Kristen Evans

Like a Sea
Samuel Amadon

In his debut collection of poems, Amadon frequently melds disparate impressions into sentences that play with syntax and sense like kittens batting balls of yarn. Reviewed by James Reiss


The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen
Denis Kitchen

Although Kitchen is better known as the publisher of the legendary Kitchen Sink Press, this collection and celebration of the work of this unsung artist. Reviewed by Seth D. Lowry

Trickster: Native American Tales
edited by Matt Dembicki

This graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales is rendered by a talented crew of illustrators. Reviewed by Britt Aamodt


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