FALL 2011

Bonnie Jo Campbell, Tim Wynne-Jones, Alan Moore, Rebecca Wolff, & more...


The Great Mystery of Writing: An Interview with Tim Wynne-Jones
Interviewed by Steve Bramucci
Novelist/YA author Tim Wynne-Jones is not easily encapsulated, but one thing can be said about him: the man loves to tell stories.

Trawling the River of Words: An Interview with Bonnie Jo Campbell
Interviewed by Alicia L. Conroy
Award-winning writer Bonnie Jo Campbell has received national recognition for her writing, which explores the hard side of blue-collar and small-town life.


Dodgem Logic
Essay by Rudi Dornemann
Not satisfied with his comic-book-genius status, Alan Moore forges a path as the editor and publisher of a “trippy-looking underground mag.”

My Internet Relations
Essay by Leslie Jamison
A first-time novelist describes her adventures in book promoting on the digital frontier.

Why Iowa? Because . . . An Essay on the Iowa Writers Workshop's 75th Anniversary Reunion
Essay by Shawn Patrick Doyle
The most prestigious creative writing program in the country just had a 75th Anniversary jamboree. Our man on the ground attended and gives a blow-by-blow of the activities and the issues they raised.

mnartists.org Presents: Ghost Craw
Essay by Andy Sturdevant
A walk through the Warehouse District gallery scene 20 years later. Mnartists.org Presents is a new feature showcasing the exceptional work of Minnesota artists.


Madame Xanadu: Disenchanted & Exodus Noir
Matt Wagner
A comic book character birthed in the ’70s, Madame Xanadu—a Gypsy tarot reader with mysterious powers—has been smartly resuscitated for the new century. Reviewed by Stuart Hopen


Coming Home Crazy: An Alphabet of China Essays
Bill Holm
Coming Home Crazy is a vivid picture of a foreigner’s life in China, of teaching English abroad, and of the author’s delight in his students. Reviewed by Emily Walz

Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past
Simon Reynolds
Reynolds's Retromania bemoans the current state of affairs in pop music, in which a constant recycling of the past prevents the emergence of anything truly new. Reviewed by Marshall Yarbrough

Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels
Edited by A. David Lewis and Christine Hoff Kraemer
This collection of essays emerges from an academic conference, its contents touching on issues relating to comic books, broadly, and “religion,” more broadly. Reviewed by Spencer Dew

Early Writings, 1910–1917
Walter Benjamin
The essays collected here consist of the young thinker’s analysis of the cultural milieu of Freiberg, characterized by Benjamin as a didactic and repressive educational system. Reviewed by Nathan Clay Barbarick

“Yellow Kid” Weil: The Autobiography of America's Master Swindler
J. R. Weil
If we are to believe Weil, as so many others did to their chagrin, improvements in American swindling can be traced directly to his own innovations. Reviewed by Niels Strandskov

After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing and Region
Wayde Compton
Canadian poet and spoken-word/turntable artist Wayde Compton explores complicated issues of race, identity and language in his first collection of essays. Reviewed by Paula Koneazny

Wittgenstein’s Antiphilosophy
Alain Badiou
Badiou’s idea of antiphilosophy aims to “situate the philosophical desire in its entirety in the register of the erroneous and the harmful.” Reviewed by Jeremy Butman


Either Way I’m Celebrating: Poems and Comics
Sommer Browning
Browning displays a lightness of touch amidst multiple forms and approaches in her full-length debut. Reviewed by Marcus Slease

Le Spleen de Poughkeepsie
Joshua Harmon
Harmon’s second book of poems is a marvelously dissonant and unapologetic reclamation project of a land compromised by the assaults of our material culture. Reviewed by Donna Stonecipher

The Last Usable Hour
Deborah Landau
The Last Usable Hour is a sometimes beautiful, sometimes harrowing, sometimes disturbing love letter to a mysterious paramour who may be a person, or New York City, or both. Reviewed by Nick DePascal

Deepening Groove
Ravi Shankar
Like a well-worn groove in a dirt path, Shankar's poems elicit images of harder times, personally and otherwise, as well as the desire to put these times behind us. Reviewed by Ralph Pennel

Talking into the Ear of a Donkey
Robert Bly
Robert Bly's latest collection of poems showcases more than half a century’s accumulation of experience, insight, and wisdom. Reviewed by Mark Gustafson

Linnea Johnson
Johnson’s shamanistic-like poems bulge with allusions, tropes, myths and memories, images and stories. Reviewed by Ann E. Michael


Last Seen Entering the Biltmore: Plays, Short Fiction, Poems 1975–2010
Gary Indiana
This collection’s thirty-five-year coverage is a strong starting point for anyone unfamiliar with Indiana’s work, which features just the right kind of sleaze. Reviewed by Justin Maxwell


I’ll Get There. It Better be Worth the Trip.
John Donovan
The 40th anniversary edition of this novel solidifies its place in literary history as the first young adult book to deal openly with a homosexual relationship. Reviewed by Shawn Patrick Doyle

Snotty Saves The Day
Tod Davies
This fantasy adventure wrapped in a faux academic study follows a repulsive little boy named Snotty as he travels through an alternate world. Reviewed by Marjorie Hakala


Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?
Johan Harstad
Norwegian author Harstad’s first novel to be translated into English is an exquisitely crafted journey into one man’s psyche as he struggles with a swiftly changing world. Reviewed by Michelle Wallin

Tomorrow Pamplona
Jan van Mersbergen
A boxer accepts a ride from a stranger on his way to Pamplona, and the tension mounts as both men’s reasons for escaping become clear. Reviewed by Amy Henry

By Kelman Out of Pessoa
Doug Nufer
The latest book by Seattle’s Oulipo-derived storyteller is a crisp novel about the soft, unspoken sides of gambling and the necessity of personality fragmentation. Reviewed by Greg Bem

Vaclav & Lena
Haley Tanner
For the titular characters of Tanner’s debut novel, the language of best friends is personified in a nearly unquenchable hunger the two young Russian immigrants have for each other. Reviewed by Erik Wohlrabe

The Beginners
Rebecca Wolff
In her debut novel, poet Rebecca Wolff, whose poetry flirts with images of ghosts and witches, has created a tale of adolescent yearning and fascination set in the fictional witchy town of Wick, MA. Reviewed by Benjamin Woodard

The Accident
Mihail Sebastian
Sebastian’s semi-autobiographical novel takes place in 1935 in Bucharest, a cosmopolitan city free of stifling social mores. Reviewed by Amy Henry

Diary As Sin
Will Alexander
Poet Will Alexander’s new novel is an incredible manifestation of speech, presented as a blind woman’s spiritually antagonistic autobiographical indictment of existence. Reviewed by Patrick James Dunagan

Mat Johnson
Mat Johnson joins the many writers who have tried to reconcile the inexplicable ending to Edgar Allan Poe’s only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Reviewed by Will Wlizlo

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine
Alina Bronsky
Rosa, the narrator and archetypal Soviet matriarch of her dysfunctional family, is a powerful, complex, and vivid character whose voice will stay with you long after you close the book. Reviewed by Daniela Hurezanu

Emily, Alone
Stewart O’Nan
Despite its subject matter—an eighty-year-old woman adjusting to life after the death of her husband—Stewart O’Nan’s Emily, Alone is not a somber book. Reviewed by Sharon Harrigan

Rain Taxi Online Edition, Fall 2011 | © Rain Taxi, Inc. 2011