Jan/Feb 2022

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!)

Peter Amos reviews...

The Reviews of Fake Accounts
by Lauren Oyler

Oyler is in the literary zeitgeist. Every review of her novel mentions her reputation as a harsh critic. That's perfectly reasonable, but it also indicates a tendency of the literary world to close in on itself. These critics are reviewing a novel by a person who reviews novels by people who might also review novels. Kitamura notes that Oyler's narrator refers to one of her (Kitamura's) own novels in Fake Accounts. Charles notes that, in the past, Oyler wrote a takedown one of his other reviews. These are writers talking to themselves, about themselves, and I'm not convinced they realize it.

Stuart Ross reviews...

Favorite Books of 2021
by various authors

Deeply funny and moving quest for a man doing an impression of himself. Tender and over too soon, like the late Brahms on the turntable. Read this at the River House. Killed a few mosquitos with it, but not enough.

Ann Skea reviews...

In Moonland
by Miles Allinson

Joe is a likable narrator whose rocky relationship with his own wife and growing daughter often distract him. His has meetings and telephone conversations with his father's old friends, all of whom seem to lead somewhat unusual lives, but since they seem vague or reluctant to talk about the past, he finds no explanation for the change in his father. He does pick up threads which lead him to do some Internet and film research, and he discovers a good deal of information about the Osho Bhagwan Ashram, where his father and some of these friends had lived for a few years.

by Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain has said she is drawn to narrators on the margins of life, and Lily is just such a narrator. Through Lily, who is a likable character, and whose joys and fears seem completely understandable, we see the poverty and richness of life in 19th century London. Underlying Lily's story, however, but never spelled out, is Tremain's own anger that historical ills, especially the mistreatment of children in institutions, still exist.

Today a woman went mad in the supermarket
by Hilma Wolitzer

Paulie takes us though her experiences with arrogant doctors; the joys, indignities, and agonies of childbirth ("FUCKING LEADS TO THIS! Those charts ought to say"); shared problems, like her insomnia and Howard's depression (which she alleviates by driving them to visit open-houses on real-estate developments where they can imagine living with dual bathroom vanities labelled "his" and "hers"); the compromises of ordinary married life; and infidelities.