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Jul/Aug 2015

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Reviews & Interviews


(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

 

Ann Skea reviews...

The Wolf Border
by Sarah Hall
 
There are borders of many kinds in this novel. Fenced, like the Earl of Annandale's wolf enclosure, and unfenced (except by social convention), like those part of human life—birth, death, addiction, politics, wealth. Sarah Hall explores many of them, treading the zones between wilderness and wildness so subtly and beautifully, is difficult to convey the richness she achieves in this short review.

On The Move
by Oliver Sachs
 
His strength came in handy once, he notes in a typical Sachs anecdote, when he was able to grab a collapsing patient and hold him upside down to prevent "coning," a condition in which excessive pressure in the head drives "the brain-stem and cerebellar tonsils" though the base of the skull.

The Story of My Teeth
by Valeria Luiselli
 
Highway's modest introduction of himself says much about him: "I'm the best auctioneer in the world, but no-one know it because I'm a descreet sort of man." He notes, too, "some have luck, some have charisma" and he has both.

From India with Love
by Latika Bourke
 
This book, however, is not just about Latika's journalistic career. It begins with her adoption story, which is itself complicated, intriguing, and full of drama. It goes on to describe life in a family of eight country-bred Australian children (two more of whom were adopted from India); and it tells of her belated interest in India and her eventual visit to her birthplace in the impoverished Indian state of Bihar.

 

Cameron Murphy reviews...

No One Belongs Here More Than You
by Miranda July
 
Recurrent are characters that fantasize wildly about connecting with other people (romantically, sexually, platonically or fleetingly) yet, over and over again, remain unconnected. Unloved. Alone. In other words they do not Belong. And yet, as July posits, no one belongs, right where there they are, more than they do.

 

Dike Okoro reviews...

A Book of Rooms
by Kobus Moolman
 
Moolman's unambiguous language gives his reader a vivid picture of the family he describes. While he stops short of providing answers to some of his speaker's thoughts, such as when his speaker says he "wishes his father did not ever come back," there tends to be need to know why and what would make a boy so young to think about his father in such a way. But the business of poetry, even in terse language, is not to reveal to the reader all that he/she desires to know.

 

Gilbert Wesley Purdy reviews...

strange theater
by John Amen
 
As good a poet as John Amen is, at his best, these lines describe not a constructed transaction between personae being acted in the strange theater, but a genuinely personal insight. Arguably, unscripted moments are sparingly scattered throughout the volume.

Everything Begins Elsewhere
by Tishani Doshi
 
The feminism described here is distinct from Western feminism. The role of the woman in upper-class Indian society is advancing along very different lines. Although the architype of the ancient Mother Goddess toward which Chandralekha and other Indian feminists have looked for direction and inspiration once also found a place in the West, it has largely been set aside here in favor of breaking down—shattering, actually—traditional gender roles.

Passive Income: The Ultimate Guide To Your Financial Freedom For Life and Self-Publisher's Legal Handbook: The Step-by-Step Guide to the Legal Issues of Self-Publishing
by Michael Wire and Helen Sedwick, respectively
 
There are a handful of topics that succeed better than all others on the nonfiction side of the ledger. The first is books on how to succeed on the Kindle platform rapidly and beyond one's wildest dreams. The next is how to make "passive income"... um... rapidly and beyond one's wildest dreams.

and discusses...

The Seemingly Endless Joys of Shakespeare
 
My necessary allies—in this particular matter—were almost certain to recoil in disgust from even considering my new discovery, it coming from an Oxfordian. Each successive draft of the monograph was written in the face of these eventualities. The going was hard.

 

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