Reviews

“I brought you a metaphor,” quips a character named “Fragile,” as she hands Death Stranding’s protagonist, Sam Porter Bridges, a golden mask that resembles a human skull. Fragile is inheritor and chief executive of Fragile Express, a shipping company tasked with delivering supplies to human survivors of a cataclysmic event—the eponymous “Death Stranding”—that eradicated huge […]

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From the Winter 2021 Issue

Virga, a derivation of the Latin word for “branch,” is the name for rain that dries before it touches the ground, appearing as a mass of streaks diffusing underneath a dark cloud. Shin Yu Pai’s newest collection, Virga, is a poetic reenactment of this meteorological occurrence. While venerating her genealogy, Pai illustrates how rain, like […]

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From the Winter 2021 Issue

For English readers around the world, for the past decade, Yan Lianke’s novels have become integral texts that help the West reconcile China’s tumultuous past with its rise as one of the world’s modern superpowers. Lianke’s savage, fabulist satires of Chinese society span Mao’s disastrous Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and more recently, the […]

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From the Winter 2021 Issue

The emergence of the term global poetics has had a belated beginning in the Anglophone world. Only recently have scholars, most of whom were trained at the University of Virginia, used this term to place poetry within a global frame. For much of the past two decades, debates surrounding what has been called “world literature” […]

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From the Winter 2021 Issue

In his debut story collection, Patrick Earl Ryan, the recipient of the University of Georgia Press’s 2019 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, focuses on small moments in quiet lives. Ryan’s characters are compassionately wayward, striving to find happiness in a culture that seems to have forgotten them. There is a teenage runaway, Evan, who […]

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August 25, 2021
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“Because twentieth-century history spread its cataclysms liberally around the globe, most people alive can consider themselves survivors to some extent,” writes the Russian poet and essayist Maria Stepanova in In Memory of Memory, originally published in 2017 and presented by New Directions in a caring and delicate translation by the poet Sasha Dugdale. Survivors, all […]

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From the Fall 2021 Issue

How does one survive in the current climate, political and ecological? “Live in the world and hurt / the living lining, that’s how,” Catherine Wagner proposes in her recent book Of Course. Wagner stages interrogations of the self both playful and violent to reimagine nature writing and to inspire a sly revolution in the pastoral […]

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From the Fall 2021 Issue

When every screen in the world goes vvvzzztt and then blank, “What happens to people who live inside their phones?” Such is the question the world’s resident doyen of hysterical realism and American mythology, Don DeLillo, poses and answers in his most recent book, The Silence. Both brevity and absurdity provoke numerous reflexive questions when […]

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From the Fall 2021 Issue

  In an interview with Marian Kaufman, Myung Mi Kim describes her poetics as listening to “the event of language,” a way of pushing back against language’s tendency toward “producing hegemonic, normative cultural practices.” “As a poet,” she says, “I am constantly thinking about this intrinsic problem and exploring modes of relating to and generating […]

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June 29, 2021
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“Daddy, what’s Mississippi like?” In the prologue to his 2003 memoir Ever Is a Long Time, author W. Ralph Eubanks recounts this innocent, yet surprisingly complicated question posed to him by his young son one night during a bedtime conversation. The answer he gave told the story of a pastoral life, full of happy memories […]

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From the Summer 2021 Issue

If the lyrical mode of the poems in Henri Cole’s Blizzard is something “elegant, libidinous, austere”—as one poem characterizes Cole’s own personality—the great subject to which Cole returns is desire itself, the desire that directs our actions and libidos, that guides all of life, separating those who act and are actionable, the truly alive, from […]

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From the Summer 2021 Issue