Online Edition: Summer 2012

Welcome to the SUMMER 2012 Online Edition
This edition is now complete.

Poetry | Fiction | YA Fiction | NonFiction | Mixed Genre | Comics

Interviews
interviewed by Cliff Fyman

Cliff Fyman recently spent a few afternoons with New York poet Bill Kushner, discussing his childhood, his wilder times in the 1980s, and even a few stories still in the works.

 
interviewed by Courtney Becks

Israeli author and filmmaker Etgar Keret—one of the biggest stars of Israeli literature, and unambiguously the don of the under-50 set—discusses his new collection of stories.

 
interviewed by Norman Lock

Faruk Ulay, a prolific multimedia author and graphic designer from Turkey, discusses his difficult-to-classify texts, which often incorporate photographs of American urban landscapes.

 
interviewed by David Moscovich

Ukrainian writer Yuriy Tarnawsky discusses the inspiration behind the “complex syntactical literary candy” of his novels and short stories.

Features

Commemorating the 51st Anniversary of the Grove Press Edition of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, with a Special Tribute to Barney Rosset

by Rob Couteau

A fresh, in-depth look at a modern masterpiece that readers have variously found disturbing, obscene, and brilliant—and the adventurous publisher who brought it to the U.S.

 
by Spencer Dew

Knight’s literary project of exploring and imagining the possibilities of American Islamic identity is here scrutinized through a reading of his books to date.

 
by Lance Olsen

Via words and insights of others spoken through his mouth, Olsen investigates the amazingly plural precincts of Ben Marcus's fiction.

 
Reviews: Poetry
W. G. Sebald

The haunting images of his fiction play a role in this harrowing collection of Sebald's poetry, translated for the first time into English. Reviewed by Jesse Freedman

 
Denise Low

Low's vivid collection of verse and prose is an enchanting tribute to the plains and the history long buried there beneath the bluestem that grows wild. Reviewed by Heath Fisher

 
Meghan O’Rourke

O’Rourke’s new poetry collection depicts grief’s landscape­—the devastation, numbness, and moments of clarity. Reviewed by Mark Liebenow

 
The Poems of Lal Ded

A recently translated selection of bhakti poems represents a valuable and timely contribution to the growing body of works by Kashmir’s most loved mystic-saint-poet. Reviewed by Graziano Krätli

 
Patrick Pritchett

Pritchett’s book of “extravagant pulses and rhythms” is the most recent addition to a growing number of works that embrace this indefinable belief system. Reviewed by Norman Finkelstein

 
Gloria Frym

Frym’s twelfth collection of poetry adopts many moods, owing a debt to Homer, Shelley, Jack Spicer, and The New York Times. Reviewed by Dawn-Michelle Baude

 
Gregory Sherl

Sherl uses a cult-classic computer game from the 1970s to explore human emotion and impermanence. Reviewed by Christopher Beard

 
Neil Shepard

In Neil Shepard’s fourth book of poems, we’re snatched up as if by the fabled Roc and dropped into one far-off locale after another, subject to travel’s transformative power. Reviewed by Judith Slater

 
Nathalie Handal

Inverting Lorca's experience, Handal travels from New York to Spain, creating rich poems layered with language, culture, and public and personal history. Reviewed by Amelia Cook

 
edited by Alamgir Hashmi

This small anthology of English translations of Urdu poems from the 1970s is enlightening, moving, and often heart-wrenching. Reviewed by R. Nelson

 
Reviews: Comics
Fumi Yoshinaga

You don’t have to be a fan of manga or have a lot of knowledge of Japanese culture to appreciate Ōoku; all you need is to be interested in historical drama with a twist. Reviewed by Amanda Vail

 
Mary M. Talbot and Bryan Talbot

History and memory intertwine as James Joyce scholar Mary Talbot recounts her relationship with her late father in this graphic memoir, illustrated by acclaimed cartoonist Bryan Talbot. Reviewed by Greg Baldino

 
Reviews: Mixed Genre
Mahmoud Darwish

This genre-bending book is a spiritual autobiography that looks like prose but feels like poetry, moving from death to birth, from the poet's own grave to his father’s, and from anecdote to meditation. Reviewed by Brooke Horvath

 
Francis Spufford

Spufford’s Red Plenty contains many instances of both utopic and dystopic visions that capture both the aspirations and horrors of the Soviet Union. Reviewed by Justin Wadland

Reviews: Fiction
Elena Chizhova

This 2009 Russian Booker Prize-winner, recently translated into English, partly meditates on how Russians have a reputation for being at once soulful and tough. Reviewed by Steve Street

 
Kate Bernheimer

This innovative, haunting novel, the last in Bernheimer’s trilogy about three sisters, draws upon traditions of the fairy tale. Reviewed by Caroline Wilkinson

 
Joseph Salvatore

Salvatore's spellbinding stories swirl and seethe and wrap about themselves in the telling, offering their own strange logic. Reviewed by Weston Cutter

 
Peter Markus

In his new story collection, Markus deconstructs, and then methodically reconstructs, the reader’s comprehension of setting and character. Reviewed by Nick Ripatrazone

 
César Aira

Aira's latest translated work, the hilarious Varamo, follows a hapless government employee in the midst of crisis and madness. Reviewed by Douglas Messerli

 
Adania Shibli

Shibli’s second work collects eight short stories that revolve around the difficulty of finding and sustaining love. Reviewed by Brooke Horvath

 
Michael Schiavone

In this debut novel, a fractured family pulsates in quiet desperation as a single mother struggles to hold onto her son after the death of his father. Reviewed by Soo Young Lee

 
José Maria de Eça de Queirós

The fictional Fradique Mendes was created to satirize a younger generation of earnest poets. Reviewed by Douglas Messerli

 
Lysley Tenorio

In Tenorio’s debut collection of stories, every character, every story, is an exploration of a marginalized, identity-torn individual. Reviewed by Robert Martin

 
Andrei Gelasimov

Disfigured by terrible war wounds, Konstantin finds himself back among his fellow soldiers as they search for a missing comrade in Moscow. Reviewed by Amy Henry

 
Forrest Hylton

Vanishing Acts is worth the read for its unapologetic bilingualism alone, but its compelling story of an anthropology student conducting fieldwork in Colombia is equally compelling. Reviewed by Kirstin Thiel

 
Reviews: Young Adult Fiction
Colin Meloy & Carson Ellis

The Decemberists front man has crafted a wild parable with his wife/illustrator, combining his love of nature and classic children’s stories. Reviewed by Steve Bramucci

 
Reviews: Nonfiction
That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion by Rachel Herz
Yuck!: The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust by Daniel Kelly
The Meaning of Disgust by Colin McGinn

Authors Rachel Herz, Daniel Kelly, and Colin McGinn show how disgust is a highly complex emotion, a matter of both repulsion and attraction—and how there is something fascinating, even seductive, about disgust. Reviewed by Jeremy Biles

 
Keith Tuma

A noted poetry critic's journal offers a meditation on the anecdote as form, as well as an introduction to the avant-garde poets of Britain, Ireland, and America. Reviewed by Stephen Burt

 
Witold Gombrowicz

Gombrowicz’s Diary mingles confessional writing with polemics on such topics as Polish nationalism, modern literature, classical music, visual art, existentialism, Catholicism, and Marxism. Reviewed by Steve Danzis

 
edited by James Karman

The second volume of Jeffers’s collected letters follows his career from its apogee at the beginning of the 1930s to its crisis at the end of the decade. Reviewed by Robert Zaller

 
edited by Peter Cockelbergh

This collection of essays about the translator, poet, and manifestor of “Nomad Poetics” should prompt a revival of Joris’s tremendous contributions to poetic discourse. Reviewed by Megan Burns

 
Stephen Tow
Mark Yarm

Two recent histories show that the story of grunge is funnier and more twisted and ironic than commonly understood. Reviewed by Justin Wadland

 
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

In this collection of essays, Spivak posits that globalization has ruined, among other things, “knowledge and reading.” Reviewed by W. C. Bamberg

 
edited and translated by Michael Hofmann

One of the finest German-language novelists of the 20th century, Roth survived intense experiences during the rise of Hitler, recounted in these letters. Reviewed by Steve Danzis

 
Malcolm Anderson

Anderson explores the mindset of distance runners who are compelled not just by distance but by repetition, hearkening to those Olympian “messengers” who have completed at least one hundred marathons. Reviewed by Scott F. Parker

 
Mike Nappa

Nappa dismantles any romantic notions of the publishing industry, declaring it takes him just 60 seconds to reject a book proposal. Reviewed by Luke Taylor

 
Robert S. Blackham

The English era of World War I comes alive in this photographic and biographical tale of icon J. R. R. Tolkien's experience of youth, war, injury, and marriage. Reviewed by Ryder W. Miller

 
Samuel Moyn

Columbia University historian Samuel Moyn offers a revisionist and convincing riposte to the classical account of human rights development. Reviewed by Vladislav Davidzon

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