Tag Archives: spring 2002

Phone Calls from the Dead

Wendy Brenner Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill ($21.95) by Ann Veronica Simon "Critics taught me something I didn't know," Wendy Brenner recently told an interviewer; "They taught me that I wrote about eccentrics." It does seem obvious that a father who believed his drowned son still breathes into a tape recorder counts as eccentric. Not […]

Hotel World

Ali Smith Anchor Books ($12) by Jessica Hoffmann Try this: judge a book by the times its words wind you with excitement, astonishment, joy, wonder. It happens every couple of pages with Hotel World, Scottish writer Ali Smith's Booker Prize-shortlisted second novel. For instance: There's the moment when Smith's effervescent ghost (whose "breath, you might […]

Tarzan's Tonsillitis

Alfredo Bryce Echenique Pantheon Books ($23) by Jay Miskowiec Like many other Latin American writers, Alfredo Bryce Echenique has divided his life between his homeland and Paris, sometimes referred to as the second capital of the Americas. In his latest novel, Tarzan's Tonsillitis, he passes between the old and the new world through the letters […]


Susan Daitch Dalkey Archive ($14.95) by Jason Picone First published in 1986, Susan Daitch's debut novel is a challenging and complex work that defies easy categorization or simple description. L.C.'s intricate structure shows the author's considerable innovation, as well as her desire to upset a reader's expectations of historical fiction. The book contains a fictional […]

Wild Turkey

Michael Hemmingson Forge ($21.95) by Tim Brown If Michael Hemmingson is not yet the high priest of transgressive fiction, then he certainly is among the church's leading members. The author of several novels and story collections and editor of the recent What the Fuck: The Avant Porn Anthology (Soft Skull Press), he has spent the […]

Cover Story

Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper Harriet Scott Chessman Seven Stories Press ($24) La Tour Dreams of the Wolf Girl David Huddle Houghton Mifflin ($24) by Carrie Mercer You can't judge a book by its cover, the old adage goes. But what if the cover is not just something the art department at the publishing […]

Useless Virtues

T. R. Hummer Louisiana State University Press ($16.95) by Justin B. Lacour In his previous collection, Walt Whitman in Hell, T. R. Hummer contrasted Whitman's idealistic lyrics of America with visions of a blighted nation, culminating in the titular poem, where the ghost of the great poet wanders through the infernos of present-day Manhattan. Useless […]


Joseph Millar Eastern Washington University Press ($14.95) by Julie Drake As the title suggests, Overtime contains many work poems. Joseph Millar now earns a living in academia, but before that he spent time working blue-collar jobs such as telephone repairman and commercial fisherman. It is these workers that Millar writes about—the deck boss on a […]

My Sister Life

Joseph Lease Jensen / Daniels Publishers ($4) by Thomas Fink A poet of lyric grace and specific, evocative images, Joseph Lease engages in trenchant, often startling associative jumps while also offering narrative's edifying vitality. My Sister Life, Lease's third collection, consists of three long sequences, two short poems, and one short prose-poem. If "Life's" "Sister" […]


Chelsey Minnis Fence Books ($12) by John Erhardt Part of the allure of a prose poem is that there is one continuous "line"; every word is on a level playing field, so the content of the poem takes center stage. In her first book, Chelsey Minnis has discovered a way to write prose poetry while […]