Emily Yang

In other words, this book has, in a roundabout way, both the digressiveness and the energy of her novels. The essay form also seems like something of a touchpoint for some of the stories here, in that Smith frequently eschews conflict, plot, and even character development in favor of scene, texture, and voice.

Su Hwang

People watching, the search for cultural identity and the subtleties of growing up in the city gracefully intertwine as Su Hwang offers her upbringing to the reader in her poetry collection “Bodega.” Born in Korea shortly before immigrating to New York City, Hwang uses her experiences to develop

Jo Chang

But, even if this novel is an easy read, it is not a wholly superficial one. It could have been written very poorly, especially in regards to character portrayal.


Amid the many themes with which this novel grapples, at its core it is a coming-of-age novel about a young girl who must venture out into an unforgiving world alone.

Saeed Jones

Saeed Jones’s “How We Fight For Our Lives: A Memoir” takes an unflinching look back at a past version of himself; in doing so examining the degrading, paradoxical situations thrust upon gay Black men.

Benedek Totth

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived for my meeting with Benedek Totth. It’s difficult to guess an author’s personality from their work, and doubly so when the work is like Totth’s. The Hungarian author’s 2014 debut, “Dead Heat,” was recently translated into English by Ildikó Noémi Nagy.


It’s easy to appreciate “The Memory Police” for its prose, though not for its plot.

Ames Hawkins

These shifts in style don’t hurt the flow. Like the best anthology records or essay collections, the fast transitions keep each page a surprise.


In their respective halves, Drake and Sin shower the reader with affirmation through their messages of self-love and perseverance.

Colette Fellous

The winding passages are devoid of quotation marks and steeped in poetics, which effectively has the effect of making me feel as though my body was being hit with wave after wave of text, struggling to stay alive and afloat.