Jan/Feb 2018

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Reviews & Interviews

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

Ann Skea reviews...

The City Always Wins
by Amit Chaudhuri

Amit Chaudhuri, the author, writes like the poet he is. His prose is simple but rich. His memories and descriptions are vivid and arresting. And the boundaries between fact and fiction are so blurred, there is a seductive allure to this near autobiography, near memoir.

The Good People
by Hannah Kent

The use of accents on names (Micheál, Nóra, Áine, Seán, Éilís)—which made me stop and wonder about their pronunciation each time I met them—the often untranslated Irish words and phrases dotted into the text, the archaic language—all of this began to grate.

Women & Power
by Mary Beard

Drawing on famous literature and art, Beard gives more examples of the ways in which powerful men have, over the centuries, refused to listen seriously to a woman's opinions. She notes how outspoken women are ignored and/or demeaned, offering as one modern example the "Miss Triggs question." In the now famous cartoon by Riana Duncan (Punch, 1988), Miss Triggs, who is shown as the sole woman at a committee meeting, makes a suggestion the Chairman describes as "excellent," but then adds, "Perhaps one of the men here would like to make it."

Dike Okoro reviews...

The Three Books of Shama
by Benjamin Kwakye

Aside from instances of brutal memory evoking the horrors of mass murder and bloodshed, this novel utilizes conflicts and plot—driven by unending tension and suspense in building hope amid a narrative that delves into the past—to conjure for the reader the relationships of Christian men and Muslim women who are bonded by forbidden love.

Gilbert Wesley Purdy reviews...

San Francisco Poems
by A. D. Winans
While others held regular jobs and dabbled on the side in the poetry scene, or, perhaps, drank themselves to death, he quit the Post Office job to give his full-time attention to writing. He started a small magazine, Second Coming, which made him a vital player in his place and time. His liver proved to be strong enough for him to survive.

Tumbling toward the End
by David Budbill
Being all he could think about, it was what he wrote poetry about. He had chosen, nearly 50 years before, to live a life of solitude in a mountain cabin with a wife, a cat and dog, and, eventually, two children. He never regretted the choice for a moment, it seems.


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