e c l e c t i c a r e v i e w s a n d
i n t e r v i e w s
(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)
Ann Skea reviews...
The Wisdom Tree: 1. Gotham / 2. Venice
by Nick Earls
The Wisdom Tree is series of five novellas to be issued at the rate of one per month ending in September. I have read the first two and am looking forward to reading the rest. Each of these novellas deals with a situation in which personal and family circumstance require a balance of responsibility, duty and love. Each story is separate, with different narrators in different countries, but there are underlying links between all of them.
The Last Painting of Sara De Vos
by Dominic Smith
The painting that is the cause of the problem is the only known surviving work of a 17th century Dutch woman, Sara de Vos. Sara is Dominic Smith's creation, as is the life he invents for her, but she is based on a real woman artist of the Dutch Golden Age, Sarah von Baalbergen, who in 1631 was the first woman artist ever to be admitted to the Harlem Guild of St Luke, which controlled all aspects of an artist's professional life.
Gilbert Wesley Purdy reviews...
Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones
by Lucia Perillo
The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis she received while writing her first volume, Dangerous Life, made something different out of this title poem, and, arguably, out of her life. In time, the youthful defiance she and her readers so appreciate became an undaunted insight into the decay that goes with living and the aging process.
Night Sky with Exit Wounds
by Ocean Vuong
The photo is emblematic of Night Sky with Exit Wound, Vuong's first book of poetry. There is mystery. That mystery plays out in a largely female immigrant world. The trappings of life are spare. Vietnam is present everywhere however much Vuong has not seen the land of his birth since he was one year old. Vietnamese was his only language until he was 11 years old. His grandmother's stories (themselves poetry) brought the country vividly alive before him.
and discusses his latest book...
Kafka in Richmond
Imagine waking up 100 years out of one's own time, with cars speeding past and video streams transmitting everywhere one looks. Presidential primaries are underway. Arabs are paddling small boats through their suddenly inundated desert countries. Californians are fighting drought and wildfire. The poor and disabled of Richmond are panhandling on the street corners. Mass shootings and terrorist attacks supply intensely dramatic moments. This is the world in which Kafka suddenly finds himself upon waking from a nap.