Book Reviews

  • Dreaming My Animal Selves
    March 25, 2015 | Erna Cooper
    Shortly after my mother died, while napping near an open window of my apartment on Avenue Foch, I felt—or thought I felt—a hand touch mine. It was warm, large, and familiar. Then I heard my mother’s voice and woke up to see a little bird that flew away toward the Bois de Boulogne. This memory came back to me as I read a collection of poetry by Hélène Cardona, Dreaming My Animal Selves / Le So...
  • The Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shafak
    December 5, 2014 | Ryann Gordon
    Photo by Zeynel Abidin Turkish writer Elif Shafak conquers the task of crossing both cultures and genders in her latest novel, The Architect’s Apprentice (London: Viking, 2014), in which she tells the powerful story of a boy and his elephant friend. Shafak constructs an image of a corrupt, sultan-ruled Middle East in the late sixteenth century by following Jahan, an Indian boy strugglin...
  • Ancestral Intelligence
    December 15, 2014 | Guo Jian
    A Review of Ancestral Intelligence, by Vera Schwarcz (Atrium House, 2013) Photo by Eki Ramadhan 1 Where thought could not be free,Death was a more welcome companion.. . .Only sages are willing martyrsFor mind’s unfettered reach.  These are lines from Vera Schwarcz’s rendition of a poem by the eminent Chinese scholar-poet Chen Yinke, written in...
  • Portrait of Giacomo Leopardi by A. Ferrazzi
    October 6, 2014 | Willis Goth Regier
    Portrait of Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837) by A. Ferrazzi(Casa Leopardi, Recanati, Italy, 1820). Source: Wikipedia. A review of Zibaldone, by Giacomo Leopardi. Ed. Michael Caesar & Franco D’Intino. Trans. Kathleen Baldwin, Richard Dixon, David Gibbons, Ann Goldstein, Gerard Slowey, Martin Thom, and Pamela Williams. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013. Leopardi’...
  • August 22, 2013 | Jen Rickard Blair
    When mortals love one anotherthey will live in mutual understanding forever;and many things will succeed,with purity of intention.  —Juma Bhalo, “The Love of Which I Speak” To celebrate love and tide the blog over in the wake of my wedding, I’ve put together a brief cruise...
  • August 13, 2013 | Shaun Randol
    A Short Tale of ShameAngel Igov tr. Angela Rodel Open Letter, 2013 A Short Tale of Shame is the first full-length novel from Bulgarian short-story writer and critic Angel Igov. Ostensibly, it is the story of the damaging connections shared by aged rocker Boril Krustev and a tight-knit threesome of high school graduates: Sirma, Maya, and Spartacus. Really, the em...