Today, in January Magazine’s fiction section, contributing editor Tony Buchsbaum looks at Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient. Says Buchsbaum: At the mere mention of a new novel by Michael Ondaatje, there is what feels like a spontaneous frisson in the literary community. A rolling, whispered excitement about where he will take us, what he will reveal about us. The complete review is here.
Today, in January Magazine’s fiction section, contributing editor Cherie Thiessen examines The End of East by Jen Sookfong Lee. Says Thiessen: Happiness and dreams are not part of life’s plan for this immigrant family, and that’s part of the problem. If one looks continually backward when in a new place, how can she see where she is? The End of East should naturally become the beginning of West, but in the Chan family, this is […]
Today, in January Magazine’s fiction section, Karen Schechner reviews The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery. Schechner wonders why more has not been said about this beautiful book. Says Schechner: This artful debut novel from Ellis Avery, a Columbia University creative writing teacher who studied Japanese tea ceremony for five years, tells the epic story of a 19th-century Japan in flux, just as it’s opening to the West. It’s an intricately imagined world of shifting politics […]
Today, in January Magazine’s fiction section, contributing editor David Abrams reviews A Miracle of Catfish by Larry Brown. Abrams is sad, but impressed with the late author’s posthumously published novel: A Miracle of Catfish is not just Brown’s last book, it’s his best. Yes, it’s raw and incomplete, but it’s filled with so much pathos and longing and downright beautiful writing that you just know Brown was pouring everything he had into these pages. The […]
Today, in January’s fiction section, contributing editor Mary Ward Menke examines Wife in the Fast Lane by Karen Quinn. Our contributor says: However beleaguered, Wife in the Fast Lane is still a fun read; in fact, the problems mentioned might even contribute to the fun. Issues, however contrived, aren’t wrapped up quickly and neatly and even the clichéd characters have enough of a grain of truth that readers will often catch a glimpse of someone […]
Today in January Magazine’s fiction section, Diane Leach reviews the first English translation of Anna Gavalda’s Hunting and Gathering. Says Leach: Perhaps I am too much of a cynic; perhaps my tastes are too dark. But Gavalda is a fine writer whose earlier work plumbed the depths of quiet desperation (not necessarily just the English way). But not here. Hunting ends in grand style, leaving writers like Frances Mayes and Diane Johnson in plumes of […]
Today in January Magazine’s fiction section, contributing editor Cherie Thiessen reviews The Rhythm of the Road by Albyn Leah Hall. Readers who loved Hall’s debut novel, Deliria, have had to wait a very long time for a new book-length work from this author. Word is, but for some bumps towards the end, Rhythm of the Road was worth the long haul. Thiessen’s review is here.
Today in January Magazine’s fiction section, contributing editor Tony Buchsbaum examines The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier. Brockmeier’s writing is a joy. It’s spare, though not Spartan, made so by his choices of telling detail, which are beautiful, simple, and spot on. There’s not a superfluous word here, and so the reading goes quickly. Buchsbaum’s full review is here.
Today, in January’s fiction section, contributing editor Cherie Thiessen reviews Ragged Islands by celebrated Canadian author and playwright, Don Hannah. Says Thiessen: The sustained mood of loneliness and longing also weaves a melancholy spell. Don’t read Ragged Islands to be entertained. Read it because you want to be moved and perhaps even just a little enlightened. The review is here.
Today in January Magazine’s fiction section, contributing editor Pedro Blas Gonzalez reviews The Albanaian Affairs, the first English translation for Susan Fortes: Novels set in totalitarian countries always possess a closed-room, double morality ethos that few people in open societies can begin to imagine. These works depict a bare bones realism that more often than not is nothing less than a test of survival. According to Gonzalez, this runner-up for the Planeta Award for Fiction […]