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A Gaucho Novel for the Twenty-First Century

- By Manuela Borzone

(A Review of Gabriela Cabezón Cámara's The Adventures of China Iron, translated by Fiona Mackintosh and Iona Macintyre. Charco Press, 2020)

Back in February, the International Booker Prize, which recognizes the best novel translated into English published in the UK or Ireland, announced its longlist of novels competing for this year’s award. The list included The Adventures of China Iron, written by the Argentinian Gabriela Cabezón Cámara in 2016 and translated by Fiona Mackintosh and Iona Macintyre. In April...


Reviews

Back to Basics: Whitman's Brew du Monde

- By Marsha Bryant

A lager is a lager is a lager. Unless it’s a Lager+. And that’s what I deem the sixth beer in the Leaves of Grass tribute series from Bell’s Brewery: Salut au Monde! Bell’s dubs it an Unfiltered Rustic Lager, their version of a Kellerbier. Rustic and unfiltered can also describe the persona that Walt Whitman cultivated in “Salut au Monde!” and other poems from Leaves of Grass. As I mentioned in my review of beer I in this series, the poet frequented...


Reviews

The World, Not the Mirror

- By Cornelia Gräbner

What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance and In the Lateness of the World by Carolyn Forché (Penguin 2019 and 2020)

"I entered the small, mud-walled room, where she offered me a stool and a metal cup of water, smiling, her hair tied back, her eyes bathed in a light that had no source other than within her." —Carolyn Forché, from What You Have Heard Is True

Look at the world, not at the mirror.” This is Leonel Gómez Vides’ constant exhortation to poet Carolyn Forché, as he guides her journey of coming-to-consciousness in 1978 and 1979 El Salvador,...


Reviews

Some Kind of Record

- By Jim Hicks

First, let’s get one thing straight. I’ve never set foot in a war zone. For the past two decades, actually a bit longer, I have spent a good deal of time in a former war zone, but that’s hardly the same. And the difference isn’t simply existential, it’s categorical, in the Kantian sense. That said, over that same period, I have consistently tried to do what little I can do, with the means and abilities available to a middling academic and lit mag editor, in order to respond to the damage that war leaves in its wake, in the lives of one generation, and the next, and no doubt the next, the broken lives of those who have experienced what I haven’t. If you’d seen it, I’m certain, you would have done no less.

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Reviews

In Spite of Herself

- By Corinne Demas

We Were Promised Spotlights by Lindsay Sproul (Penguin Random House)

Lindsay Sproul’s debut novel, We Were Promised Spotlights, will no doubt resonate with readers who are especially interested in LGBT coming-of-age stories, but what makes this book stand out is the quality of the prose, the well-drawn, complex characters, and the compelling insights into the limited life choices available for so many American teens. Though the title is somewhat awkward, the lament “We were promised spotlights...


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