Reviews

  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

Habitat Threshold, the new collection of poetry by Craig Santos Perez, opens with his daughter’s birth. Surprisingly, however, this family milestone is decentered by another presence: The doctor presses the plastic probe against my pregnant wife’s belly. Plastic leaches estrogenic and toxic chemicals. Ultrasound waves pulse between plastic, tissue, fluid, and bone until the embryo […]

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From the Summer 2021 Issue

In February 2020, the same month Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning was released, I attended a teach-in organized by Tsuru for Solidarity in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Tsuru for Solidarity is a national project led by Japanese Americans working to end detention sites, supporting front-line immigrant and refugee communities, and challenging racist, inhumane […]

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From the Summer 2021 Issue

In The End of October, published early in the present pandemic, Lawrence Wright initially appeared to be not only a novelist, but also a prophet. Before the virus now known as COVID-19 made a crucial mutation, while it still predated primarily on bats, pangolins, and other wild animals in the south of China, Wright envisioned […]

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From the Summer 2021 Issue

Wolfram Eilenberger’s Time of the Magicians features a library that seems like an academic’s version of Borges’s Babel or Zafron’s Cemetery of Forgotten Books. In the Warburg Library in Hamburg, philosopher Ernst Cassirer found his ideal domain. Although the collection contained “several tens of thousands of rare studies in intellectual and scientific history,” what made […]

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From the Summer 2021 Issue

Nick Hornby’s new novel, Just Like You, features an improbable relationship between Lucy, a forty-two-year-old white English teacher, and Joseph, a twenty-two-year-old Black man who works in a local butcher shop. Joseph becomes Lucy’s sons’ babysitter, and then her lover. Hornby recreates the period just before the Brexit vote of 2016 and evokes the cultural […]

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March 26, 2021
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Mythology is the “penultimate truth”—it is what can be known but not directly told, explains Joseph Campbell in the documentary series Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. By that definition, what Terese Marie Mailhot encapsulates in the 124 pages of her bestselling memoir Heart Berries is an epic excavation and experiment to uncover and […]

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March 26, 2021
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Miguel Collazo’s puzzling, spasmodic novel The Journey (1968) is a multigenerational tale of hapless inhabitants persisting on a strange planet. The novel hopscotches across hundreds of years, yet carries inside it relics of its origins in post-revolutionary Cuba. While this new translation breathes anglicized life into an idiosyncratic work of fiction underappreciated in the U.S., […]

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From the Spring 2021 Issue

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