Turns out, it took a while for God to die. He lingered, barely coherent, through the first years of the last century, until He understood that modern poetry would happen. Then He seemed at peace and let go, knowing the universe would soon fill with imaginative new forms as poets reinvented the divine.
Tony D’Souza’s Whiteman, published in 2006, was widely praised for its treatment of, in Norman Rush’s words, “the paradoxes of Western aid-giving.” The book, D’Souza’s first, recounted the adventures and foibles of a white American man, Jack Diaz, in Ivory Coast during its recent civil war.
Maybe all small towns have it: the myth of the golden boy (or girl), the one with irresistible flair and hard-nosed ambition, the kid everyone knows will go on to succeed—or, at the very least, manage to move out of the county. For the little town of Monarch, New York, the setting of Eli Gottlieb
Historical fiction is the bastard child of the literary world. Too often the marriage of vivid characters, colorful locales, and actual events produces bodice rippers, romantic fodder dressed up in a well-researched package. It’s no doubt hard to pen a historical novel that doesn’t succumb to
Ronan Bennett’s fifth novel, Zugzwang, is populated by double agents, doppelgängers, counterpropagandists, agents provocateurs, and assassination conspirators so numerous and mutually entangled that you can’t tell them apart without two scorecards—one for their real identities, another for
The power of flies; they win battles, hinder our soul from acting, consume our body.” Blaise Pascal proposed this notion in Pensées, his seventeenth-century postconversion writings, which provide the intertext for Lydie Salvayre’s The Power of Flies, originally published in 1995 as La Puissance des
Two-thirds of the way through The Match, an exacting yet tender novel about expatriate life, its protagonist, Sunny Fernando, visits Sri Lanka for the first time since childhood. He goes to look for the house he grew up in and finds it gone: “None of the things that had made up his early world,
Fading in with an epigraph from Josef von Sternberg—“I believe that cinema was here from the beginning of the world”—Steve Erickson adapts nearly the oldest story in the book (Abraham and Isaac), threads it through the projector through which all film history spins, and, having cast a hero
Poet Matthea Harvey creates a universe of her own but doesn’t post signs telling readers how to get there or get around after arriving. And this lack of authorial direction is precisely why her poems are so wonderful. In Modern Life, each reads like a stern and glorious fable of freakishness. The