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Northwest Review – 2006

It is difficult to neatly sum up a journal as diverse as Northwest Review; it contains a wealth of short stories, poems, and essays, with a range of voices in each category. The fiction, particularly, takes the reader through a variety of cultures, from the traditional but tense Cuban-American family of Jennine Capo Crucet’s “Noche Buena” to the subtle power plays in Houston among expatriate Bangladeshi women in Gemini Wahhaj’s “Exit.” Therese Kuoh-Moukoury’s excellent “Colors of Tears” (translated from French) is written in an African folkloric style, but is contemporary in its content and female point of view.

It is difficult to neatly sum up a journal as diverse as Northwest Review; it contains a wealth of short stories, poems, and essays, with a range of voices in each category. The fiction, particularly, takes the reader through a variety of cultures, from the traditional but tense Cuban-American family of Jennine Capo Crucet’s “Noche Buena” to the subtle power plays in Houston among expatriate Bangladeshi women in Gemini Wahhaj’s “Exit.” Therese Kuoh-Moukoury’s excellent “Colors of Tears” (translated from French) is written in an African folkloric style, but is contemporary in its content and female point of view. Northwest Review‘s poetry is well crafted but perhaps not knock-your-socks-off exciting; I did, however, enjoy the poems of Nina Lindsay, whose works here are based on lines mistranslated from Chinese poets. I was pleased that besides the usual scholarly essays (e.g. “The Childbirth Poetry of Plath, Sexton, and Loy”) this issue contained a political piece. George Gessert’s “An Orgy of Power” is a thoughtful, disturbing, and very timely essay about Americans’ attitudes towards governmentally sanctioned torture, and the need for true balance of powers in American government.
[www.uoregon.edu/~nwreview/]

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