WINTER 2009/2010

Brian Evenson, Terry Tempest Williams, David Foster Wallace, and many more...


Casual Readers Welcome: An Interview with James Patrick Kelly & John Kessel
Interviewed by Matthew Cheney
James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel have spent the last few years exploring the borderlands of the realms known, for lack of better terms, as science fiction and literary fiction.

Can You Keep a Guy Intrigued? An Interview with Blake Butler
Interviewed by Andrew Ervin
"I should note that when Butler agreed to do this email interview, he didn’t know that I planned to ask only questions culled from Cosmopolitan magazine’s 'Can You Keep a Guy Intrigued?' quiz."

Fugue States: An Interview with Brian Evenson
Interviewed by John Madera
Brian Evenson’s fiction is peopled by estranged ciphers, paranoiac wanderers, hyper self-aware talking heads, broken but not beaten skeptics, philosophizing cutthroats, and no small number of maimed and dismembered figures.

This Associative Life: An Interview with Terry Tempest Williams
Interviewed by Kevin Smokler
Raised and still residing in Utah, Terry Tempest Williams has penned more than a dozen books that imply a blurred division between the worlds of nature and humanity.


Notes from Footnotes: New Directions in David Foster Wallace Studies
Essay by Scott F. Parker
Our man on the ground evaluates a recent conference devoted to new ways
of thinking about Wallace’s oeuvre.

Papeles Inesperados
Reviewed by Jay Miskowiec
Published twenty-five years after Julio Cortázar’s death, this collection of little-known texts will excite fans of the famed Argentine author.


Leaving Tangier
Tahar Ben Jelloun
Jelloun paints a compelling Moroccan world that draws the reader effortlessly into the familiar human situations that know no cultural divide. Reviewed by Steve Street

No Tomorrow
Vivant Denon
The variety of guises in which No Tomorrow has appeared—and this handsome new translation by Lydia Davis must of course be considered another—is in keeping with its subject: the semi-divine smoke and gorgeously warped mirrors of eighteenth-century erotic adventure. Reviewed by Laird Hunt

Robert Greer
Set near Hardin, Montana, in 1991, Spoon is a modern-day Western, complete with good guys, bad guys, and inclement weather. Reviewed by Jaspar Lepak

Vincent McCaffrey
In this debut novel, an online bookseller appraises a treasure trove of early twentieth-century tomes that lead him to two book-related mysteries and many unexplained deaths. Reviewed by Kristin Thiel

Old Girlfriends
David Updike
Updike’s painterly gift with description carries through this collection of short stories, making the reader wish there were more to savor. Reviewed by Daniel Picker

Dance with Snakes
& The She-Devil in the Mirror
Horacio Castellanos Moya
Two recent translations bring Moya’s mysterious and suspenseful take on Latin America to English-speaking readers. Reviewed by Scott Bryan Wilson

Ladies and Gentleman, the Bible!
Jonathan Goldstein
Call it the second coming: the Bible is back. Goldstein joins the holy hullaballoo with this collection of stories focusing on what the Good Gook most lacks: humor. Reviewed by Jesse Tangen-Mills

The Bridge of the Golden Horn
Emine Sevgi Özdamar
Özdamar’s novel follows the life of a young Turkish woman as she awakens to sexual desire and the turbulent political life of the late 1960s. Reviewed by Jeff Bursey


& Zenith
Julie Bertagna
Bertagna imagines a worst-case scenario in her young adult books Exodus and Zenith, which follow the survivalist adventures of a ragtag group of people from all walks of life after most inhabited land has been swallowed up by the rising oceans. Reviewed by Kelly Everding


Learning from Language: Symmetry, Asymmetry, and Literary Humanism
Walter H. Beale
Beale asks the age-old question: does language have a direct relation with reality or is it entirely arbitrary and so of no real help in working our way toward real truths and to a better society? Reviewed by W. C. Bamberger

Robert Bolaño: The Last Interview & Other Conversations
Translated by Sybil Perez
In this collection of four interviews conducted between 1999 and 2003, Bolaño speaks frankly and candidly with his various interviewers, revealing his vastly erudite intelligence and knowledge as well as his skewed humor. Reviewed by Mark Terrill

The Possible Life of Christian Boltanski
Christian Boltanski and Catherine Grenier
Part sober rumination and part look-at-me exposé, this oral autobiography covers all manner of topics, including the artist’s childhood, family, career, marriage, friendships, successes, failures, and ongoing cogitation on death. Reviewed by Mason Riddle

Beats at Naropa: An Anthology
Edited by Anne Waldman and Laura Wright
This anthology collects talks and interviews culled mainly from the voluminous audio archives of Naropa University’s writing program, founded in 1974 by poets Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman. Reviewed by Peter Conners

Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom
bell hooks
The prominent African American feminist educator and cultural critic continues her important teaching trilogy with these engaging and thought-provoking mini-essays culled from dialogues with her students. Reviewed by Jay Besemer

Hiding Man: A Biography of Donald Barthelme
Tracy Daugherty
One cannot read this book without recognizing that Barthelme was the dominant writer of his generation or that Daugherty will be one of the leading literary biographers of his own. Reviewed by Jacob M. Appel

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Christopher McDougall
McDougall discovers the Tarahumara Indians of the Copper Canyon in Mexico, a legendary tribe whose members, even its elderly members, participate in ridiculously long races without suffering injury. Reviewed by Scott F. Parker


Dance Dance Revolution
Cathy Park Hong
Hong’s sophomore release, Dance Dance Revolution, employs an unapologetic linguistic energy and a grasp of recent Korean history to forge a story that is both lighthearted and worldly, both comically absurd and solemnly nostalgic. Reviewed by Dale Terasaki

The New North: Contemporary Poetry from Northern Ireland
Edited by Chris Agee
& Poets for Palestine
Edited by Remi Kanazi
Two new poetry anthologies focus on particular geographical areas that have seen their share of strife and violence in their long histories. Reviewed by Tim Keane

Fort Red Border
Kiki Petrosino
This dual review delves deep into Petrosino’s “genius of the exactingly sensual”—with a healthy dose of Robert Redford. Reviewed by Haines Eason and Jay Thompson

Last Call at the Tin Palace
Paul Pines
In Pines’s new volume of poems, acts of remembrance become studies in reclamation; the subjects and places these poems consider are summoned with a boundless faith in their preservation. Reviewed by Jon Curley

Acropolis and Tram: Poems 1938–1978
Nikos Engonopoulos
This selection of poetry shows how Engonopoulos took surrealism furthest, largely because he practiced both writing and painting (devoting himself primarily to painting after 1948). Reviewed by George Kalamaras


The Book of Genesis
Illustrated by R. Crumb
Bibles have been around for centuries, but there’s never been a version like this. Reviewed by Britt Aamodt

Masterpiece Comics
R. Sikoryak
This sumptuous volume compiles Sikoryak’s parodies of classic literature in a letter-perfect imitation of a classic comic book or strip, raising provocative questions about literary discourse along the way. Reviewed by John Pistelli