Tawnysha Greene’s A House Made of Stars opens with danger disguised as play: the young hearing-impaired girl who serves as unnamed narrator hides in the bathtub with her younger deaf sister because “Momma tells us it’s a game.” But the observant narrator knows the truth: hiding in the bathtub behind a locked door is only […]
Quinn Dalton’s second novel Midnight Bowling is more than just a teenage love story. A skillfully written young adult crossover, Midnight Bowling uses parallel memoirs to recount two romances as well as one coming-of-age story. Middle-aged Leo Florida owns The Galaxy, Sandusky’s timeworn bowling alley where Tess Wycheski’s father teaches her how to bowl […]
Compartment No. 6 is a tense, terse, dense novel. In less than 200 pages, Rosa Liksom jails the entire, crumbling Soviet Union, and gives it to us to unspool. This novel, published in early August by Graywolf Press, starts in Moscow. A girl—we never learn her name—boards a train bound for Mongolia. She’s leaving […]
First things first—Megan Volpert informs us in her introduction to 1976 that she was born in 1981, and that, therefore, this invitingly messy collection of essays, observations, and verbal assaults on our Bicentennial Year is by definition not a retrospective, but a retrospeculative. In other words, this is a history book, and Volpert is […]
The early pages of Jeff Wood’s cinematic novel The Glacier depict a landscape rearranged through a series of instantaneous and radical changes. Jonah, the character who comes closest to serving as a protagonist, works hundreds of yards away from his fellow surveyors, plotting more houses for a cookie-cutter suburban neighborhood that already spreads as far […]
Speech, wounds, and the body converge throughout these eleven stories, whose traumas range from the innocent pains of childhood to the darker parts of adult experience.
The lightning-quick flash fictions that make up Rachel Levy’s A Book So Red read like skin blistering: before you become aware of your delicious discomfort in such daring prose, there’s a bubble, erupting.