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I wanted to read this book right after the election, but when Roth died I knew it was time. Everything that has been said about it is true--a devastating political novel of an alternate or speculative history. But beyond that, it’s still a haunting Roth novel about a young boy and his family. My novelist friend Alex Taylor said that “Roth is as keen an observer of human frailty as I have ever read. Stylistically unassuming, but brilliant and profound in his unrepentant bleakness.” ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood
This second collection of Groff’s short fiction contains stories of lost children, sinkholes opening up in backyards, persistent snakes, of French vacations, Guy de Maupassant, hurricanes, a parent’s immediate fears for the safety of her children and the long-term fears of what kind of future they might have in a world of worsening climate change. I’m not sure if the Florida Commission on Tourism will be very happy about this book. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood
Mary Beard does it again! This is a brilliant and exceptionally quick read. The first half covers early representations of the human body, and, in typical Beard fashion, interrogates not only what is depicted and how, but what that tells us about the culture viewing it—and how we are still the inheritors of those ideologies of visual representation. It’s an updated, combining of Kenneth Clark’s landmark Civilisation and John Berger’s revolutionary Ways of Seeing. The second half treats representations of the religious, spiritual, and the divine. And she takes a truly world-wide, multicultural view. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood
These stories are full of the fantastic and the dreamlike. They read initially like fairy tales—but notes of the sinister and intimations of (if not outright) violence quickly change the mood. Wholly original, they seem the work of a 20th century feminist Grimm sister. Just read “Debutante,” the first story in the book, and try to resist Carrington’s charm. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood