A Letter from the Editor on Women in Literary Publishing

Recently [March 2011, –ed.], the literary cultural organization VIDA: Women in Literary Arts released a report on women in magazine publishing, focusing particularly on book reviews. The results of their…

Writing the Cry: French and Francophone Literature

Is France still at the center of the French-language literary world? Or, to ask a broader question, is there a center at all? In the fall of 2006, five of…

eco language reader
Brenda Iijima, ed.
Softcover, $19.95
Nightboat Books, 2010

Continual Critique: After the After of Ecology

The texts included in The Eco Language Reader (edited by Brenda Iijima; Nightboat Books, 2010) are not attempts at one sort or another of a genre of “ecopoetics.” They remain usefully outside any…

Money Shot
by Rae Armantrout
Hardcover, $22.95
Wesleyan, 2011

The Lyric LangPo Alarm: Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout’s poetry is informed by two key sources: first, the radical poetics of 1960s San Francisco; second, the terse verse forms of William Carlos Williams, whose poetry she first…


Last Rhapsody at Marienbad

Ben Mazer, now in his forties, looks like a terribly serious man in his photographs. He wants us to take his poetry seriously too. He publishes rarely and gravely: the…

Sex & Lies in Vintage Hollywood: Chuck Palahniuk‘s Tell-All

Told from the perspective of a surly, intelligent assistant-to-a-star Miss Hazie Coogan, Tell-All is a delicious slap in the face of an archetypal Hollywood of yesteryear. Like his previous novel…


A Herman Melville Summer Vacation

For years I had wanted to visit the house where Herman Melville finished writing Moby-Dick. I knew it was in the Berkshires, and on a visit this summer to the area,…

Luka and the Fire of Life
by Salman Rushdie
Hardcover, $25.00
Random House, 2010

Luka Pilgrim Saves the World

A book like Luka and the Fire of Life, the latest novel from Salman Rushdie, warrants a personal response. It is tempting (perhaps even easy) to write about the literary elements…

The Audacity of Veracity

1. Historical fiction is an audacious enterprise forever at risk of succumbing to arrogance. After countless hours of painstaking research into an historical event or figure of interest, what could…

Dean Young, by Laurie Saurbon Young

Birds, Not (John) Cages: on Dean Young’s Art of Recklessness

In his 170-page paean to reckless impulse, Dean Young spurns consistency, “over-thinking,” and all emphasis on craft, procedures, and technique. He casts out discipline and hard work, perfection and conventional…

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