Category: Literary Fiction Reviews

A review of Black Rabbit by Angus Gaunt

There are multiple ways to read Black Rabbit, and the reader is invited to take part in the meaning making in a way that is very open. You can imagine Maurice’s arc in multiple ways. However you choose to interpret it, Black Rabbit is a terrific read, full of unpredictable twists, well-drawn characters and an unforgettable narrative.

A review of The Shaman of Turtle Valley by Clifford Garstang

Reading Garstang’s The Shaman of Turtle Valley brought to mind two very different novels. Ill Will by Dan Chaon for the way it dissects American violence DNA. And The Border of Paradise by Esme Weijun Wang for exploring the cost of when a decent but oblivious American man brings back an Asian wife and settles down in a non-Urban environment. But Garstang’s net is cast wider with an eye to tie domestic issues with foreign policy.

A review of Stories from Bondi by Libby Sommer

Sommer has the ability to create believable characters and place them in real life situations, whether these situations are arranged or occur by chance. The ‘unusual’ sometimes is found in this writer’s narrative, like when she describes different types of Glutei Maximi, for those unacquainted with Latin this mean simply ‘bums’.

An interview with Richard Thomas

Author, editor, and teacher Richard Thomas talks about writing through difficult situations, about the value of MFA programs and teaching writing, about accurately representing diversity in his work as an editor, about writing across genres, and elevating genres like horror, advise to writers who might be afraid to show others their work, and lots more.

Remembering Cats Eye

Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 1989. I haven’t read The Remains of the Day, the book that won, but it doesn’t matter. Cat’s Eye was robbed. Every sentence in the novel’s 498 pages serves the whole beating heart of it. No word is superfluous. Each one is a mini portal, transporting us and the main character, Elaine, back into memories without warning, exactly as Atwood intended.

An interview with John Reed

Associate Professor of Writing Across Media and author of A Drama in Time: The New School Century talks about his new book, The New School and its history, about moving fluidly between genres, what teaching has opened up, his new work in progress, and lots more.

A review of Born Slippy by Tom Lutz

The action moves at a pulse quickening pace, our hero’s journey peppered with witty asides and lively character driven observations. Frank has a special talent for describing rooms from a connoisseur contractor’s POV. It helps that Lutz did some carpentry in his younger days.

A review of On Reflection by David Musgrave

On Reflection is a novelty. It is beautiful, delicate and memorable. The collection sweeps along philosophising possibilities, inventing life with breath-taking consciousness. In its own right, it reminds us to remain centred—in a word: read Musgrave.

A review of A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

Pablo Neruda once wrote: “If nothing saves us from death, at least love should save us from life.”  In A Long Petal of the Sea, Isabel Allende’s characters are saved from despair by love, friendship and the satisfaction of helping others.  Is she suggesting that history repeats itself and that a democracy with social justice and economic equality is an impossible dream? I think not.