Tag Archives: fall 2009


edited by Cecilia Vicuña and Ernesto Livon-Grosman Oxford University Press ($49.95) by John Herbert Cunningham Indebted to the pioneering work of Jerome Rothenberg in ethnopoetics, this anthology should usher in a new era of translation of Latin American poetry, one that is long overdue. Its uniqueness is evident from the Preface, in which editors Cecilia […]


Gerald Martin Knopf ($37.50) by W. C. Bamberger Many readers know Gabriel García Márquez only as the author of the classic One Hundred Years of Solitude, but there is, of course, much more to him, both as man and artist. Many of his books are as good as or even better than One Hundred Years—there is the […]

YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?: Words, Contexts and Communication

Ruth Wajnryb Cambridge ($19.99) by Abby Travis Words are supposed to be solid and reliable, the basic building blocks with which we create structures like sentences, paragraphs, books—and, through these, meaning. This hardly seems like a revelatory thought, but as with many structures, a great deal occurred over time to create the meaning that these […]

IN DEFENSE OF FOOD: An Eater’s Manifesto

Michael Pollan Penguin ($15) by Alexander Deley Michael Pollan’s most recent book, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto is largely a polemic directed against what Pollan calls “nutritionism.” Pollan convincingly argues that much of what we eat is not indeed food at all; rather it is imitation food-like substances that have been altered by the processed […]


In Which a Forty-Eight-Year-Old Father of Three Returns to Kindergarten, Summer Camp, the Prom, and Other Embarrassments Robin Hemley Little, Brown and Company ($23.99) by Virginia Konchan With a humility many adults admire in children but can’t quite muster in adulthood, author Robin Hemley returns to ten unsavory disappointments of his youth, from a year […]

THE MONSTROSITY OF CHRIST: Paradox or Dialectic?

Slavoj Žižek and John Milbank edited by Creston Davis MIT Press ($27.95) by Jeremy Biles Long marginalized by secular modernity, religion has “returned with a vengeance,” editor Creston Davis declares in his introduction to The Monstrosity of Christ—a book clearly intended as a major contribution to this “religious turn” in contemporary philosophy. While important thinkers such […]


Janni Lee Simmer Random House ($16.99) by William Alexander Janni Lee Simmer’s debut young adult novel gives us the story of Liza, a fifteen-year-old girl forced to navigate through the wreckage of a post-apocalyptic world—and through the broken remains of her basic assumptions about this world, and how it works. Liza has grown up in […]


Andrei Rubanov translated by Andrew Bromfield Old Street Publishing ($16.95) by Matthew Thrasher If the buzzword of Soviet thought was party-line materialism, then the crux of the post-Soviet ’90s was its insidious opposite: immaterialism. Things, the once-proud raison d’être of Soviet ideology, disappeared at an alarming rate. Russia, the former economic backbone of a world superpower, was […]


José Manuel Prieto translated by Esther Allen Grove Press ($24) by Gray Kochhar-Lindgren José Manuel Prieto’s Rex opens with the epigraph “Esse is percipi. /To be is to be perceived,” Bishop Berkeley’s famous dictum related to the sound trees make or don’t make when they fall in the forest. By the time we get deeply into the novel and […]