On Michael Helm’s After James (and other puzzling novels)


"Perhaps the most brave and honest review of After James should restrict itself to two words: Read it." Could be that Angie Abdou got it right, when she reviewed Michael Helm's After James and concluded with this. McClelland & Stewart, 2016 But she did a fine job of

On Michael Helm’s After James (and other puzzling novels)2017-02-01T12:54:29-05:00

The Promise Falls Trilogy


Promise Falls has a history. You might not think so, but it matters. “Are we too insignificant up here: A couple of hours away from New York? Is that what we’re foolish enough to think? Let me tell you something, my friend. You want to strike fear into the hearts

The Promise Falls Trilogy2017-01-06T11:04:07-05:00

December 2016, In My Bookbag


In which I discuss some of the skinny volumes which have kept me company while on the move, while heavier volumes (like Connie Willis' Crosstalk and Steven King's 11/22/1963) stayed home. Warsan Shire's chapbook is my skinniest book of the year. I finished reading it on a single commute, but

December 2016, In My Bookbag2017-07-24T15:24:49-05:00

Darren Greer’s Advocate (2016)


"The past presses so hard on the present, the present is badly bruised, blood brims under the skin." These lines from Brenda Shaughnessy's poem “Nachträglichkeit”* fit beautifully with Darren Greer's new novel, Advocate: Not only because much of Advocate is preoccupied with memory, with what the characters carry with them

Darren Greer’s Advocate (2016)2020-10-22T12:25:06-05:00

Reasons to read Gary Barwin’s Yiddish for Pirates (2016)


For a love of birds with wings, especially parrots. "But what did happen to Adam and Eve? Did they hollow out the Tree of Knowledge, make a canoe and then paddle east to Europe? Fnyeh. Not these Heyerdahls. But, if there ever were an Adam and Eve, who knows where they

Reasons to read Gary Barwin’s Yiddish for Pirates (2016)2017-07-20T17:43:35-05:00
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