Fiction

RECENT REVIEWS

Memory, Trauma, and the Diasporic Subject

Memory, Trauma, and the Diasporic Subject

UNRAVELING THE “distinct problematic” of forgetting and forgiveness — a dyad crucial to the survival of traumatic injury like that represented in this, Salah el Moncef’s complex and, finally,...

On Her Own Terms

On Her Own Terms

BRIAN MORTON, virtuoso of discourse, sets his fifth novel, Florence Gordon, in a contemporary New York City, where sophistication among the literati has reached a level where all conversation is ironi...

Memories of a Chicana Falsa

Memories of a Chicana Falsa

MICHELE SERROS WROTE for the same reasons many of us write — to share stories, to tell jokes, to tackle issues, to make a living. But, on top of all that, or maybe even before all of it, I believe s...

Pata Pata Time

Pata Pata Time

GROWING UP in a newly democratic South Africa, I was raised on dystopian narratives highly conscious of their politics. Whether it was Gordimer and Coetzee, or Wally Serote and Athol Fugard, all began...

The Space of Possibility

The Space of Possibility

CALLING TO MIND that old saw against hasty superficiality, the cover of Tom McCarthy’s new novel, Satin Island, defies the prospective reader to judge the book. Between Technicolor splotches, it li...

A Satin Island of the Mind

A Satin Island of the Mind

TOM MCCARTHY’s new novel Satin Island, like his previous three books, is difficult to describe. The plot, as much as there is one, concerns a “corporate anthropologist” named, simply U. — “C...

No Choice but Fantastically Disguised Compromise

No Choice but Fantastically Disguised Compromise

FOR SOMEONE with a pen name meaning “don’t speak,” Mo Yan has been the cause of much conversation since winning the Nobel Literature Prize in 2012. Salman Rushdie lambasted him for not supportin...

An Elephant Remembers

An Elephant Remembers

IT’S PROBABLY UNAVOIDABLE that some readers will see Tania James’s second novel, The Tusk That Did the Damage, as a tangential offshoot of the recent swell in ivory awareness. In August of 2014, t...

Paranoia, the Realistic Response

Paranoia, the Realistic Response

TOWARD THE END of Salvador, Joan Didion’s account of her visit to El Salvador during its 12-year civil war, one episode crystallizes the “local vocation for terror” that so gripped the small La...

Love Lays Ghastly Traps for the Soul

Love Lays Ghastly Traps for the Soul

ON THE tasteful pink and gray cover of Rose Tremain’s new story collection, The American Lover, a beautiful slender woman with a blond pageboy poses in the style of a 1950s tearoom model wearing a ...

The Revolution Will Not Be Simplified

The Revolution Will Not Be Simplified

TO CONVEY the cruel circus of Communist-era Romania as it was still unfolding required truly novel modes of storytelling if one was to make it past the country’s powerful censors. To that end, Norm...