Online Edition: Spring 2009

This is Part One of the Spring 2009 online edition of Rain Taxi.
Click here to read Part Two!

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INTERVIEWS

Memory Unearthed:
an interview with Michael Rumaker

by Leverett T. Smith, Jr.

The Illustrated Thoreau:
an interview with John Porcellino

by Nate Pritts

FEATURES

The Woodman in the Gossamer:
Mere Anarchy & The Literary Humor of Woody Allen

Allen’s new collection of essays, Mere Anarchy, rivals the work of greats Twain, Thurber, and Perelman. Reviewed by Louis Phillips

Widely Unavailable:
Awful Disclosures of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery
of Montreal by Maria Monk

First published in 1836, Monk’s sensational memoir about the lascivious goings on in a Canadian nunnery reveals the enduring public appetite for an arousing true story. Reviewed by Spencer Dew

From the Backlist:
The Dollmaker’s Ghost by Larry Levis

Levis confronts the mother of all fears death in this deeply personal, classic collection of poems. Reviewed by Michele Battiste

Reviews

FICTION

Khirbet Khizeh
S. Yizhar

Named for the small village where it is set, Khirbet Khizeh is a stirring homage to the land of Israel and a damning reflection of the birth of that nation. Reviewed by Jeff Waxman

To Siberia
Per Petterson

To Siberia depicts a woman trying to find a place in the world, a place that even at sixty years of age she is unable to ascertain as she looks back on her life. Reviewed by Salvatore Ruggiero

The Way Through Doors
Jesse Ball

Composed of discrete small stories suspended within the whole like seltzery bubbles, The Way Through Doors is a Sheherazade-like tale in which the storyteller must weave tales in order to keep the listener alive. Reviewed by Micaela Morrissette

Divertimenti and Variations
Heimito von Doderer

A collection of “apprentice pieces” from the acclaimed Austrian novelist explores the precariousness of existence. Reviewed by Aaron Kunin


NONFICTION

The Soul and Barbed Wire
An Introduction to Solzhenitsyn

Edward E. Ericson, Jr. and Alexis Klimoff

The authors of this introduction offer readers unfamiliar with the work of Solzhenitsyn an intriguing look at his literary achievements. Reviewed by Jeff Bursey

Hurry Down Sunshine
Michael Greenberg

Greenberg sieves the events surrounding his daughter’s “crack-up” to distill an eloquent disquisition on the fragility of daily living. Reviewed by Jacob Appel

Motoring
The Highway Experience in America

John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle

The promise of the road and its reality are very different, as Jakle and Sculle demonstrate in this well-researched book. Reviewed Joni Tevis

Gilles Deleuze
Cinema and Philosophy

Paola Marrati

Marrati’s beautifully written and expertly translated book brings much needed clarity to Deleuze’s two monumental works on cinema. Reviewed by Joe Hughes


POETRY

Homage to the Last Avant-Garde
Kent Johnson

This collection represents a framing of Johnson’s total work, where his political poems, translations, and satirical sorties on the American poetic community can be seen within a coherent conceptual framework. Reviewed by Murat Nemet-Nejat

Instructions on How to Read a Newspaper and Other Poems
Valerio Magrelli

Prepare yourself for the deep contemplative work of this underappreciated Italian poet. Reviewed by Kevin Carollo

Dear Darkness
Kevin Young

Young’s poetry rages against racism, not allowing the jibes and taunts of school children to be forgiven or forgotten, nor anyone to hide beneath the veneer of ignorance. Reviewed by John Herbert Cunningham

True Thoughts
Pam Brown

The role of daily life and the poet’s response to everyday movements are traced from poem to poem in this new collection. Reviewed by Gregory Bem


ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY

Pitch Blackness
Hank Willis Thomas

Thomas’s work reveals a complex visual threnody of grief and consternation after a family tragedy. Reviewed by George Slade

I don’t get it
Luc Tuymans

While Luc Tuymans has been one of the most celebrated European painters of the past twenty years, it is easy to understand why many might wonder why. Reviewed by Alice Dodge



 

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