Winter 2013/2014

Richard Powers, Chath pierSath, Brenda Hillman, Marisha Pessl, Kevin Jackson, and more . . .


A Fugitive Language: An Interview with Richard Powers
Interviewed by Allan Vorda
Acclaimed novelist Richard Powers discusses his new release Orfeo, a riff on the myth of Orpheus and the power of music to shape people’s lives.

Intersections: An Interview with Chath pierSath
Interviewed by Greg Bem
Cambodian American Chath pierSath discusses his book This Body Mystery, which brings multiple visualizations to the harrowing and empowering lives of those who have lost, suffered, and rebounded.

Reviews: Chapbooks

John Beer
In this elegantly assembled chapbook, poet John Beer reaches for an intimacy that comes after the knowledge that we are constructed, deferred, incomplete.
Reviewed by Stephen Burt

Reviews: Poetry

Psychedelic Norway
John Colburn
& Dance
Lightsey Darst
Two new books of poetry from Coffee House Press represent new and exhilarating ways of rethinking the lyric. Reviewed by Benjamin Paloff

The Cloud That Contained the Lightning
Cynthia Lowen
This National Poetry Series winning collection takes on the persona of Robert J. Oppenheimer, “the father of the atomic bomb,” with mixed results. Reviewed by John Bradley

Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire
Brenda Hillman
Hillman culminates her tetralogy on the elements with this volume, which takes on metaphysical conceits while also wrestling with a slew of contemporary evils. Reviewed by Erin Lyndal Martin

Camouflage for the Neighborhood
Lorene Delany-Ullman
Delany-Ullman’s new collection of poems explores a subject of much recent national concern: the effect of militarism upon America, both collectively and in its citizens’ individual psyches. Reviewed by Steven Wingate

Postage Due
Julie Marie Wade
In this debut collection, Wade investigates the line between poetry, prose, and ephemera to create a volume that illuminates the complicated interplay of personal memory and desire. Reviewed by Julie Babcock

Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast
Hannah Gamble
Gamble’s first book of poems, a National Poetry Series winner, focuses on gender, family, and the idea of aging, with a consistent reflection on relationships. Reviewed by Mark Eleveld

Virginia or the Mud-flap Girl
Elizabeth Treadwell
In these poems, Treadwell mashes Mae West, John Rolfe, Vine Deloria Jr., and others into a new history of America. Reviewed by Lightsey Darst

Reviews: Fiction

The Dark
Sergio Chejfec
A nameless narrator describes his disorientation when looking over a landscape as “the vertigo of simple things.” Reviewed by Kristine Rabberman

A Child Is Being Killed
Carolyn Zaikowski
Zaikowski’s new novel inhabits the terrifying space of its title while giving a singular, lyrical voice to its victim. Reviewed by Gavin Pate

The Rain Wilds Chronicles
Robin Hobb
This fantasy series documents a quest with world-changing consequences, but author Robin Hobb keeps the narrative focus on her characters. Reviewed by Kris Lawson

Night Film
Marisha Pessl
Night Film demands to be read in just a few days—you will not be able to put it down, anyway, so you might as well stay up as long as it takes to finish it. Reviewed by John Pistelli

The Salinger Contract
Adam Langer
This absurdist and fast-paced thriller features a self-named character who gets hired to write novels for a wealthy gentleman. Reviewed by James Naiden

Hi, This Is Conchita
Santiago Roncagliolo
The Peruvian author’s latest story collection is a black comedy that exposes the incongruities of modern life. Reviewed by Jenn Mar

Reviews: Nonfiction

The Sanctuary of Illness: A Memoir of Heart Disease
Thomas Larson
Larson reports from the frontlines of heart disease in this graceful and engaging memoir.
Reviewed by Renée E. D’Aoust

Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to Slutwalk
Melinda Chateauvert
Although Sex Workers Unite’s language is dispassionate and academic, the story that it tells can be heartbreaking. Reviewed by Kelsey Irving Beson

Torment Saint: The Life of Elliott Smith
William Todd Schultz
A reknowned psychobiologist, Schultz elects to write a straight biography of a troubled and brilliant musician, leaving his psychological expertise to underlie the narrative. Reviewed by Scott F. Parker

Twelve Views from the Distance
Mutsuo Takahashi
Takahashi explores his childhood and young adulthood by following the threads that connect his memories together. Reviewed by Amanda Vail

The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future
W. Patrick McCray
The Visioneers tells the tale of a few charismatic people who tried to change the world through the invention of new machines. Reviewed by Ryder W. Miller

Constellation of Genius: 1922, Modernism Year One
Kevin Jackson
Jackson claims that the early 1920s were “blazing with a ‘constellation of genius’ of a kind that had never been known before, and has never since been rivalled.” Reviewed by Steve Danzis

Rain Taxi Online Edition Winter 2013 | © Rain Taxi, Inc. 2013/2014