Oct/Nov 2006

e c l e c t i c a   r e v i e w s  & 
i n t e r v i e w s

Reviews & Interviews

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

Gilbert Wesley Purdy reviews...

Toward the Distant Islands: New & Selected Poems
by Hayden Carruth (Sam Hamill, editor)

The sense of helplessness is palpable. The sundering thought that he must live minute by minute, day by day, in a world in which she no longer exists, is almost too much to bear...

Toward the Winter Solstice: New Poems
by Timothy Steele

All of the five senses... are present in Winter Solstice, something rare even in many of our better poets. Sneakers squeak. Purses beep. When the poet eats a strawberry we enjoy the taste and feel of it with him.

Maryanne Snell interviews...

Jamie S. Rich
Author of Cut My Hair

There's a scene in The Everlasting, where Mandy has just left Lance after some particularly distressing news, and he flips out and starts yelling and beating the door. I've had that scene since high school, since my first attempt at a novel, but I had packed that book in before I reached that particular moment in it. So, I filed the scene away and waited. 1989 to 2004.

Elizabeth Glixman appreciates...

Memories of My Melancholy Whores
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

It could be said the story is more about death than life, more about age and illness and some idealized version of love that holds off inevitable death, a sort of love of memory and despair.

Robert Gray reviews...

by Naomi Alderman

"Disobedience" is just another word. In the end, this book is about evolution, not revolution, and the former is a painstaking, endless process.

Colleen Mondor reviews...

Generals Die in Bed
by Charles Yale Harrison

When Charles Yale Harrison went to France, clearly he still felt the stirrings of a higher purpose. He came from a time when you had to see the lies up close to really know them; you had to become part of the lie before you could begin to believe that it ever existed.

A Private History of Awe and The Country of Language
by Scott Russell Sanders

The fact that Sanders keeps his story from falling into appeals for pity or some sort of sordid shock drama is why readers will not want to leave the Sanders family behind. Even when happily ever is clearly not going to be evident (at least for his parents), the young writer's slow creative awakening continues to build, and it is impossible to ignore.

The Painful Truth Behind Young Adult Dramas
by Various Authors

In the face of sudden tragedy, and the impossibility of accepting that tragedy, adults may soldier on or sink into denial or play a thousand different games of might-have-been and should-have-been. But children, even teenagers, do not know how to be that cynical just yet.

Semi-Annual Look at New Picture Books
by Various Authors

A crazy amount of wonderful picture books has come my way in the last six months, all of them guaranteed to be both different from the latest celebrity-authored blandness and enormously pleasing to the younger set.

Elizabeth Glixman interviews...

Brett Alexander Savory
Author of The Distance Travelled

I believe the only way to know what comes after life is to die. All religions are just theories, unprovable. I'd like to think that the essence of what makes me ME will carry on in some form or other—that'd be nice—but who knows? Maybe we all just wink out like a tiny, tiny Christmas light, and that's it.

Jim Tomlinson
Author of Things Kept, Things Left Behind

In first grade my class toured the local jail. This was in Sycamore, Illinois. The jailer put six of us in a cell. When the door clanked shut, I was completely terrified. Right then I vowed in my six-year-old heart to never do anything that would land me back there—which, I suspect, was the intended outcome. My second stay in jail was longer...

Scott Malby reviews...

Five Lit Sites—Quick and Dirty

There are innumerable ways to define the literary web. One way is in terms of radiating influences and inter connections.