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to cast a shadow for each other until we are bones

- By k

A review of The Girl Before Her by Line Papin (Kaya Press, 2023)

The road to the laundromat is iced all over and the wind is ruthless, blowing me back to the winter in Massachusetts, to the field of sunflowers, their eight-foot stalks almost depleted of moisture, their beehive heads bent over by snow, yet refusing to touch the ground. Suddenly this image comes to me: i’m running in the snowfield toward somewhere i don’t know, and a flash of light enters the corner of my eye—a silver figure running in my direction. We meet with a hug in the middle of the field (in an open field, everywhere is the middle). We hug without a word, feeling each other through layers and layers...


Partisan Review: Of Dreams and Hallucinations

- By Jim Hicks

It must be awful to be a Republican these days. So many reasons to be terrified: immigrants flooding across our borders, gender subversion from within, swarthy people rising from below, and so few of “our nation’s core principles” left unassailed. Even Sean Hannity, culture warrior supreme, can’t seem to keep up. How on earth to fight so many foes at once?

Enter Ethan Keller, a Hannity Show producer as well as cofounder and executive director of the Locke Society, an organization with its sights set on “ensur[ing] that the next generation of Americans is not overwhelmingly socialist.” Only by “encouraging the conservative youth to pursue careers in public and private...



- By C.M. Crockford

A review of Bianca by Eugenia Leigh (Four Way Books, 2023)

“Trauma” and “grief,” or rather such shallow incarnations of serious psychological phenomena that they merit air quotes, have become trendy concepts in recent 21st century discourse and media. Movies and television use the traumatic past as a major plot revelation (The Matrix Resurrections, Succession, Yellowjackets), or the antagonist becomes a walking, talking metaphor for PTSD and unresolved issues (the recent Halloween, Smile). Then, through the wonders of narrative, the troubled protagonist finds an unusually easy solution to their problems, often...


Under Our Skin

- By Alexander Aguayo

A Review of Under Our Skin, by Joaquim Arena, translated by Jethro Soutar (Unnamed Press, 2023)

I like to say that Joaquim Arena’s memoir/travel narrative Under Our Skin, translated by Jethro Soutar and published by Unnamed Press, arrived to me at the perfect time, because I had been learning about extraordinary historical figures from the African diaspora, such as the grammarian Juan Latino, Madame Priscilla, Postmaster Charles Graves, and Sister Mary Wilhemina, when I read about the illustrious João de Sá Panasco in the pages of this book. Depicted in a Lisbon street scene by an anonymous sixteenth-century Flemish painter in the portrait Chafariz d...


The Heart of the Ironbound

- By Briana Bhola

A Review of I’ll Give You a Reason by Annell López (The Feminist Press, 2024)

Annell López’ short story collection, I’ll Give You a Reason, brings us to the heart of the Ironbound, an immigrant neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. These stories explore race, colorism, Blackness, identity, sex, and gentrification, among other topics. López gives us gritty and complex characters with their vulnerability on full display; her stories are often devastating, yet empowering. Through López’s expressive and captivating writing, these characters and their hardships feel tangible. Her pages are a portal: readers fall into them and walk the streets of Newark. We feel...

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