Tag Archives: Summer 2015

The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia

Michael Booth Picador ($ 26) by Poul Houe The author of this book is a Brit residing in Denmark and married to a native Dane. A tightrope-walking journalistic juggler, suspended between his title’s reluctant admiration of the Nordic countries and his subtitle’s pseudo-objective delight in debunking their virtues, he labors with some success to keep […]

Eelahroo (Long Ago) Nyah (Looking) Mobo-Mobo (Future)

Lionel G. Fogarty Vagabond Press ($25) by Robert Wood Precious little has been written on Lionel Fogarty’s poetic consciousness, or where to situate him in a global literary economy. An indigenous Australian writer, Fogarty is mostly considered alongside Ali Coby Eckermann and Samuel Wagan Watson in a red, yellow, and black identity politics triumvirate—and indeed, […]

Antisocial Patience

David Brazil Roof Books ($15.95) by Tyrone Williams Over the last few years David Brazil has published two chapbooks of poems titled Holy Ghost. His last book, The Ordinary (Compline, 2013), concluded with a number of poems on, among other things, “the jew” vis-à-vis an upstart Christendom. Although Antisocial Patience is, in many respects, an […]

The Ghost In Us Was Multiplying

Brent Armendinger Noemi Press ($15) by J.G. McClure At a recent reading in Los Angeles, Brent Armendinger spoke of fragmentation as a way of saying the unsayable. We know all too well that language often fails us when we need it most; it can’t contain our deepest emotions. Rather than ignoring or avoiding the problems […]

Soldier On

Gale Marie Thompson Tupelo ($16.95) by Jenny E. Drai Soldier On, Gale Marie Thompson’s first full-length collection of poetry, begins with a poem (“Cilantro Blue”) that includes the line, “Anything is harbor. Anything is singing.” What comes after that is a poetry of loosely gathered language—just stubborn enough to cohere, just disjointed enough to take […]

Girl in a Band

Kim Gordon Dey St. ($27.99) by Christopher Luna Penned by one of rock’s most sophisticated and innovative personalities, Girl in a Band is a dense, compact account of nearly three decades of cultural history. Kim Gordon’s memoir picks up where Patti Smith’s Just Kids ends, with the next generation of artists who were inspired by […]

Two Tragedies in 429 Breaths

Susan Paddon Brick Books ($20) by Joseph Ballan To illustrate the distinctly poetic manner of stitching together apparently distinct experiences, T.S. Eliot suggested that, while the ordinary person “falls in love, or reads Spinoza, and these experiences have nothing to do with each other, or with the noise of the typewriter or the smell of […]

Against the Country

Ben Metcalf Random House ($26) by Garin Cycholl There comes a point when you’re loading turkeys for market in the middle of the night. One escapes. You see the tom out there in the darkness, walking a fencerow, loose in a new world. You want to argue for his freedom but your friend, the farmer, […]


Halle Butler Curbside Splendor ($14.95) by Courtney Becks Halle Butler’s Jillian is, frankly, frightening—partly because it’s a bleak look into the heart of Megan, its ostensible protagonist whose last name is never revealed. In her early twenties, Megan is right out of comedian Louis CK’s “Do Your Job” bit. She despises her job in a […]

The Turner House

Angela Flournoy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ($23) by Rob Kirby Angela Flournoy’s debut novel The Turner House is a thoroughly engrossing saga spanning more than a half-century in the lives of an African American family in Detroit. Through the Turners, Flournoy—a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and a real talent to watch—explores the complexities of […]