Apr/May 2010

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...

The Lover's Guide to Trapping
by Wyatt Prunty

According to the 2000 census, the town of Sewanee has just over 2,300 residents. In 1989, there could hardly have been more. Perched atop a heavily wooded mountain, the place was idyllic, largely free of the anxieties of the world around it, a wonderful place to bring up children. It is not difficult to understand why Wyatt Prunty has, to this day, rarely felt the desire to leave its environs.

On Speaking Terms
by Connie Wanek

If there is anything in which Wanek outdoes her mentor, it is in the faint undertow that inhabits the daily life portrayed in her poems. It is time almost imperceptibly drawing her down with just a bit more force as the cost of each moment of joy and fortitude.

Margaret Towers reviews...

The Wandora Unit
by Jessy Randall

The end of their relationship underscores a theme in the book of impermanence and inevitable change, poignantly felt by Dora as the seniors contemplate their college choices. She says, "I feel like I'm doing my best to stay where I am and not slip backward, but they are all flying off to different people, across oceans, into other languages."

Niranjana Iyer reviews...

The Geometry of God
by Uzma Aslam Khan

In her third book, Aslam gives us a female paleontologist, charged writing about the erotic, and a profound inquiry into the often-vexing relationship between faith and reason. Add to these riches the voice of a blind child "taste-testing" words, and The Geometry of God becomes that rare creature, a novel where the urgency of the message is matched by the verve of the narrative.

Ikeogu Oke reviews...

Daughters of Eve and Other New Short Stories from Nigeria
Edited by Emma Dawson

In the case of Daughters of Eve and Other New Short Stories from Nigeria, the paradigm shift is from Nigerian literature that reflects more of the values of "commitment" to one that exemplifies more of the ideals of "art for art's sake." Put otherwise, the emphasis of the stories is to explore fiction as beautiful and entertaining writing rather than deploy it as a flaming, albeit beautiful, battleaxe for one cause or the other.

Colleen Mondor reviews...

Science: The Definitive Visual Guide
Edited by Adam Hart-Davis

From preteen whiz kids eager to learn to adults looking for an accessible reference or unique way to while away the hours, Science is light years beyond the standard fare and irresistible from the moment the first pages are turned.

Interesting Biographies for Kids & Teens
by Various Authors

I wish sometimes I could take adults by the hand in a bookstore and lead them to the children's section so they could learn some of the wonderful things I have in the same delightful manner. I doubt anyone would believe me however if I told them that Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci by Joseph D'Agnese was one of the clearest and easiest to understand math books I've ever read in my life. If only it had been placed in my hands in junior high I might have been willing to ask a lot more questions, to care about the answers and to actually find math worthwhile.

War & Peace, Picture Book Style
by Various Authors

In careful prose using words so achingly selected that the reader will feel as if they are sitting on the edge of their seat with this fragile family, Lowry has Lizzie ask her father if he was scared during the war and Ibatoulline draws her upturned hesitant face, desperate to know, but unsure of what his answer will mean.

Julia Ann Charpentier interviews...

Costel Iarca

There is no bottom line in art. A painting is always incomplete, and that very incompleteness fascinates me, driving me to reflect on the perfection and imperfection of the world and of the human soul. God is the Perfection of everything, we are just the imitators.

Mary Akers interviews...

Clifford Garstang

Recently I spoke a group of college students who had read my book and one student asked me how, since I'm not a middle-aged, oxycontin-addicted woman, I was able to write "Saving Melissa," a story told in the first person by just such a woman. And the answer is research and observation, the latter of which is of course just another kind of research.

Jim Ruland interviews...

Darlin' Neal

There are some very beautiful voices here in New Mexico, the beautiful accents and languages of my youth, the smell of green chilies roasting in the air, of mesquite. I've missed them for a while, just like I missed all the voices of my aunts and uncles in Mississippi and the smell of turnips and peas cooking on the stove when I moved away from there, the place I was born and where I first heard voices.