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The Kenyon Review – Summer 2006

The Kenyon Review can always be counted on for exceptional poetry and prose; their latest effort is no exception. A wonderful new section debuts in this issue, Andre Bernard’s “The Casual Reader,” in which the author discusses the books that found their way onto his reading list and struck a chord.

The Kenyon Review can always be counted on for exceptional poetry and prose; their latest effort is no exception. A wonderful new section debuts in this issue, Andre Bernard’s “The Casual Reader,” in which the author discusses the books that found their way onto his reading list and struck a chord. The first installment is eclectic: Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes; 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen; The Spy Who Came in From the Cold; Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness;, and The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value. All these titles were new to me and I was grateful to Mr. Bernard for the recommendations. The fiction is also wonderfully varied: the iced-over landscape of Bridget Bentz Sizer’s “Snow Blind” to the gothic domesticity of Philip Deaver’s “Lowell and the Rolling Thunder” to the Tokyo setting of Don Lee’s comically sorrowful “A Preference for the Native Tongue” to M. Allen Cunningham’s structurally innovative “Twelve Monthly Devotions. The poetry selections are also outstanding, particularly Eamon Grennan’s deliciously frenetic “In Bits” and the more contemplative “Night”: “What to make of night, then, its caul of stars sequined and— / for all their fixture—unsteady as breath, able to be winked out / by the smallest cloud?” This edition also features an excellent interview with Grennan and an array of book reviews. [www.kenyonreview.org] –Laura van den Berg

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