Reviews

The Bias: Toward Fashion

The Bias: Toward Fashion

Fashion changes, but style remains.
—Chanel

 

Of course, when we think of fashion we think of style. However, I am not sure, in spite of the recent efforts of museums and a handful of critics, how many of us—no matter how educated, . . .

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on Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón

on Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón

Ada Limón’s poetry recognizes the ways shifting landscapes throw order into chaos. In Bright Dead Things, her fourth collection, the mutable settings—from New York to Kentucky to California—serve to underscore the speaker’s turbulent feelings of loss. Limón’s speaker ties her self-conception to landscape. She says, “This land and I are rewilding” and “Now, . . .

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on The Quarry and The Birth-mark by Susan Howe

on The Quarry and The Birth-mark by Susan Howe

Susan Howe’s The Quarry includes ten previously uncollected essays, beginning with the most recently written “Vagrancies in the Park,” a gracious tribute to her favorite twentieth-century poet, Wallace Stevens. Covering diverse topics, The Quarry also includes a discussion of Hope Atherton’s captivity narrative and an extended contemplation of iconoclastic filmmaker Chris Marker’s documentaries, . . .

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on Night at the Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade

on Night at the Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade

In a telling scene from the opening story of Kirstin Valdez Quade’s Night at the Fiestas, a young woman corrects her aunt for calling her by her given name. “Norma,” the character until this moment known as Nemecia, says, “My name is Norma.” Nemecia is at the center of the story: a figure at once sensual and revolting. . . .

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on Counternarratives by John Keene

on Counternarratives by John Keene

In 1995, thirty-year-old John Keene published his first book, the autobiographical novel Annotations. With its sentence fragments and snaking syntax, the book reads like a bildungsroman carved into pieces. The protagonist, an African American youth growing up in St. Louis during the Seventies and Eighties, . . .

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on The Ocean, the Bird and the Scholar by Helen Vendler

on The Ocean, the Bird and the Scholar by Helen Vendler

The Ocean, the Bird and the Scholar brings together twenty-seven essays, reviews, and occasional lectures, written over the past twenty years by the renowned poetry scholar Helen Vendler, the best known “close reader” of lyric poetry today. Almost all of the chapters focus on modern and contemporary American, . . .

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