Reviews Archives - Page 2 of 89 - The Millions

September 7, 2017

A Girl with an Expiration Date: On Heather Harpham’s ‘Happiness’ 0

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When you’re living through watch-it-through-your-fingers reality what makes for good escapism? I’d like to make the case for a memoir about life with a mortally ill child. And let me add: I am a new mother.

September 5, 2017

Literature’s Inherited Trauma: On Jesmyn Ward’s ‘Sing, Unburied, Sing’ 2

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By invoking Morrison and Faulkner, Ward excavates not only the suffering of her characters, but also the long tradition of fiction about slavery, fiction that grapples with racial injustice that extends into the present.

September 1, 2017

We Are Not Alone: ‘Close Encounters’ Turns 40 0

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A new biography reveals how J. Allen Hynek’s life and legend exemplify a lost era. UFO sightings still make the news, but Hynek was something different: a public intellectual who told us to watch the skies.

August 31, 2017

Text Messages and Millennial Adultery: On Sally Rooney’s ‘Conversations with Friends’ 0

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I didn’t just read this book in a single day. I read it in a single day on two separate occasions, three days apart.

August 30, 2017

The Equality of Shame: On ‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies’ by John Boyne 0

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With intricate, narrative precision, The Heart’s Invisible Furies cuts to the heart of what family is, how it is chosen, and how it endures.

August 30, 2017

Behind the Masks of Jean Lorrain’s ‘Monsieur de Bougrelon’ 1

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With his flamboyant costuming, elaborate décor and rhapsodic reminiscences, Lorrain is not applying lipstick to the pig of reality, but trying to elevate artifice and anachronism to a way of being in the world.

August 25, 2017

The Poetry of Subversion: On ‘Shakespeare in Swahililand’ 1

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Shakespeare was often handmaid to the subjugation of people by English colonialists, who used the playwright as evidence of British superiority, while at the same time he was used by people across Africa in their own striving for national self-determination.

August 4, 2017

A Pattern of Freedom: On Can Xue’s ‘Frontier’ 0

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While readers approaching Frontier as a cipher to be decoded are likely to grow frustrated, those who allow themselves to be immersed in it as in music or painting will begin to perceive the novel’s complex harmonies.

July 26, 2017

Where Randomness and Madness Reign 0

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I couldn’t help but feel that the narrator was wearing brass knuckles spelling out “postmodern” and trying, repeatedly, to punch me in the face.

July 25, 2017

The Church of Reformed Libertines 2

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What would a “Goodbye to All That” look like in reverse? Probably a long toke in Dolores or Griffith Park, and then a “meh” when someone asked what you thought of all that hustle and bustle, the concrete and steel.