Books

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From the food the characters eat to the clothes they wear and the places they live, readers are exposed to a part of the world and way of life they may not be familiar with.

Verity Sturm

I mentioned this briefly in person, but I’m very certain that much of the pause “Crudo” gives me is due to how personally attacked I felt while reading it.

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She was a deeply complicated person who carried with her a lot of talent and a lot of trauma, and her life bore the weight of both. And yet, despite every good attempt to sketch her many facets in full three dimension, Benedict’s novel ultimately flattens Lamarr.

A Tribe Called Quest

No matter how you feel, Abdurraqib makes you think about your relation to the Tribe, however idiosyncratic it is.

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Tim Johnston opens his book with a Hemingway quote: “He whispered this last so low that it was inaudible to anyone who did not love you.” It’s short. Poignant. Tinged with melancholy. The book is the same way. Slow and sure.

Yiyun Li

Time wasn’t made for us to touch, but Li knows better. She doesn’t dare toy with tomorrow; instead, she strangles a fever dream out of today.

NOSELL

I expected Kang to treat her topic with the same fire that she brought to the psychosexual tangles of The Vegetarian, but for all its beauty the book feels weirdly contentless, a boundary drawn around air.

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“When You Read This” does lead readers to contemplate intriguing and important philosophical questions, such as what makes life worth living and how, if at all, the dead should be honored, but it lacks in plot and character development.

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Wang describes schizophrenia as a narrative disease, an affliction whose progression can be mapped through the evolution of a protagonist.

NOSELL

Few volumes of poetry boast such backmatter — flipping back and forth between text and notes is a style of reading I figured highly academic and contained to, say, John Whittier-Ferguson’s Joyce class.