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The Feeling and Fear of Inevitability

In the early afternoon of September 11, 2001, approximately 1:30, I boarded a ferry named Carthage in Tunis, Tunisia headed for Marseille, France. The same ferry can be seen in the film Love Actually, in the background when Colin Firth’s character (Jamie) drops Lucia Moniz’s character (Aurélia) off for the last time. As I went through the security check, I hoped my cheerful disposition and appearance as a white, privileged, American backpacker would shield me from a deeper inspection as my bag contained two Berber daggers that I purchased in a bazaar for friends back home. I smiled, my passport was stamped, and I wasn’t given a second look.

In Conversation

Diane Seuss with Tony Leuzzi

In her own words, Seuss describes frank: sonnets as “a memoir in a string of sonnets,” an ambitious project that challenges notions of what an individual sonnet or sonnet sequence can contain.

Megan Milks and Sally Rooney

At first pass, these two novels have little in common, but there are some parallels. Both are about a process of change, a shift into adulthood, and the sharp and difficult journey that can be for many of us.

Maggie Nelson’s On Freedom

It is a necessary book. This is first what I will say. It is flawed and of astonishing cultural significance and among the finest writing of her career.

Lauren Groff’s Matrix

Lauren Groff’s latest novel Matrix is a lyrical blend of historical fiction and myth-making that takes place in a nunnery during the mid-12th and early 13th centuries, the time of the Crusades.

Heather McGhee’s The Sum of Us

Heather McGhee, in her book The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, nobly aspires to a brighter American future of a functioning multiracial democracy through the use of a shopworn Enlightenment trick—rational evidence-based appeals to material self-interest.

Paul Vangelisti’s Liquid Prisoner

Poet, award-winning translator, and editor Paul Vangelisti’s latest book of poetry, Liquid Prisoner, is a stunning achievement.

Richard Powers’s Bewilderment

In Bewilderment Richard Powers's mastery strikes a new vein, and while the takeaway by no means lacks in smarts or artistry, it makes a swift and easy read, glittering with timeless story elements; it raises goosebumps and breaks our hearts.

Sarah Matthes’s Town Crier

Winner of Persea Books Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize, Sarah Matthes’s first collection of poems, Town Crier, is nothing short of revelatory.

Anthony Veasna So’s Afterparties

Anthony Veasna So’s highly anticipated debut story collection Afterparties is an engaging, funny, and often loving portrait of the Khmer and Khmer American community in and around Stockton, California.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2021

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