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In Conversation

Chloe N. Clark with Allison Wyss

Chloe N. Clark’s Patterns of Orbit is a short story collection concerned with the terror, loneliness, and longing of deep space exploration, ancient folkloric magic, sentient nature, and climate change. Its characters face ghosts, disease, alien plant monsters, and devastating grief. They’re armed with science, but also with courage.

In Conversation

Daniel Allen Cox with Greg Marshall

The author of four award-winning novels, Daniel Allen Cox has been chronicling queer life in Canada and abroad for nearly two decades. In his latest, he turns his gaze inward.

Tezer Özlü’s Cold Nights of Childhood

Cold Nights of Childhood finds its most revolutionary moment in the narrator’s own articulation of desire.

Han Kang’s Greek Lessons

Greek Lessons may not leave readers with a greater understanding of the archaic language, but it will, hopefully, imbue us with a greater respect for the many ways we communicate beyond sound and noise, and how complicated and unifying it is to be fallibly human.

Camille T. Dungy’s Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden

The award winning poet makes a case for a collectivist mindset in which our environment is a space where all humans and non-humans alike serve a purpose.

Olympus on Earth: Daniel H. Turtel’s The Family Morfawitz

Daniel H. Turtel’s delightful and frightful new novel, The Family Morfawitz, features one of the most uniquely unhappy families in literature.

Mario Fortunato’s South

In Italy South appeared in the teeth of the pandemic, in mid-2020, but widespread disease is one of the few varieties of trouble that never tangles its many lines of plot. The novel instead details the impact of other calamities of the twentieth century, as it develops upwards of fifty characters, all linked somehow to two families down in Italy’s elongated toe, Calabria.

Matthew Cheney’s The Last Vanishing Man: And Other Stories

Cheney’s new collection is less the “horror!” that his publisher hypes and more a combination of wildly post-apocalyptic brutalism and deeply sympathetic studies of people—lost or irreparably harmed by modern life and the punishing ways masculinity is often shaped.

In Conversation

Tom Lin with Blake Sanz

I met Tom Lin at the Napa Valley Writer’s Conference this summer, where we spoke about our debut books. His debut novel, The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu, about a Chinese orphan raised by a white man to become an assassin in the post-Civil war western United States, won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction. Having thoroughly enjoyed our panel and the book itself, I asked him if we might talk—about the book, about the genre of the Western, and also, about the fiction writing process in general.

Sophie Mackintosh’s Cursed Bread

For me, the experience of viewing this installation was immediately reminiscent of my first read of Sophie Mackintosh’s new novel, Cursed Bread—a slowly rising suffocation mixed with a hint of deep existential dread without clear cause. As Cursed Bread moves through alternating chapters, shifting back and forth through time, there is a slowly accumulating experience of vertiginous panic.

Michael Magee’s Close to Home

It so happens Magee’s much-hyped novel—see the glowing write-ups not just in The Guardian but also Kirkus Reviews and Publisher’s Weekly—is coming out just in time for the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday agreements, which brought to the North a fragile calm, if not promised prosperity.

Raphael Rubinstein’s The Turn To Provisionality in Contemporary Art: Negative Work

Raphael Rubinstein’s follow up to his influential 2009 proposal, Provisional Painting, is a fascinating study in skeptical digression. Throughout this entire book-length reprisal and reevaluation of his original thesis, Rubenstein expresses the kind of radical existential doubt that he also often refers to in the text as a patent impossibility in today’s “hip to that kind of trip” world.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2023

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