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Book Reviews by Title - S (147)

  • Subtitle Translating Latin American Fiction
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Suzanne Jill Levine
  • Date Published October 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1564785633
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 208pp
  • Price $13.95
  • Review by John Madera
Synopsizing her own book The Subversive Scribe, Suzanne Jill Levine in “Cositas Are Not Things,” the book’s penultimate chapter, writes:
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by John Rember
  • Date Published June 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-1877655791
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 148pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Ryan Wilson
Age and the academy dominate John Rember’s latest collection, Sudden Death, Over Time. Master of the cynical first person male, Rember repeatedly places readers in the context of professors well past their prime, who know that their best choice left is to smirk at the absurdity surrounding their departments, their students, and their love lives and to plod along.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Toni Graham
  • Date Published September 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8203-4850-6
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 152pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Allyson Hoffman

Through eight carefully linked stories, Toni Graham depicts the rituals of small-town Oklahoma and how its inhabitants move forward through life with—or in perhaps spite of—grief. The stories in The Suicide Club each follow one of four suicide survivors: a man whose father swallowed pills; a mother whose teenage son hung himself; a woman whose boyfriend shot himself; and the survivor group leader, whose father asphyxiated himself. The group’s Wednesday night meetings are only a sliver of full and messy lives as the members work through addictions, infidelity, impotency, and questions of faith.

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Selçuk Altun
  • Translated From Turkish
  • by Clifford Endres and Selhan Endres
  • Date Published April 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1846591488
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 288pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Patricia Contino
“What are you, some kind of aristocratic character escaped from a romantic novel?” asks the comely professor of the narrator/protagonist, who fits this description so perfectly. He also may or may not be The Sultan of Byzantium of Selçuk Altun’s absorbing novel. The longest-lasting and most satisfying intrigue is that readers never learn the name of the narrator, a dashing economics professor, until the book’s conclusion. How it is revealed, resolving many a loose end, is well worth the journey getting there.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Allison Titus
  • Date Published November 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-880834-88-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 78pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Sara C. Rauch
It is very easy to lose yourself in the brave, lonely world of Allison Titus's Sum of Every Lost Ship. Her spare and questioning aesthetic is pleasing, and her subjects bristle just enough to provide a wonderful chemistry. Throughout her poems, she maintains a careful beauty and distance, and she creates a unique world of displacement, longing, and ultimately, survival.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Kristina Marie Darling
  • Date Published September 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60964-191-7
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 66pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Kimberly Ann
I just finished reading Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, a novel in which the narrator desires that she and her sister resist the socio-economic structure of 1950s New England and reside, instead, on the moon. They finally do achieve this goal by converting their large house into a smaller living space, boarded-up and isolated from the outside world. In novels like Castle, women often reinterpret the boundaries of living spaces in their writing partly because traditional domestic contracts and spaces constrain emotion, creativity, and grief. In her book of poems titled The Sun & the Moon, Kristina Marie Darling contributes to this collective literary voice that unfetters domestic space as her speaker grieves and examines a past marital relationship. The Sun and the Moon, representing respectively a husband and wife, are always at opposite poles in this space that reels with cinematic flashes of memory and the ghosts that inhabit memory over time.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Mary Biddinger
  • Date Published May 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-62557-908-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 75pp
  • Price $13.95
  • Review by Elizabeth O'Brien
Mary Biddinger’s fourth poetry collection, A Sunny Place with Adequate Water, grapples with social mores, loneliness, and isolation through serial non-sequitors and questions that seem sincerely non-rhetorical, yet go unanswered. Tonally, A Sunny Place with Adequate Water is reminiscent of the poetry of Mary Ruefle, or of Steven Millhauser’s prose poem novella, Enchanted Night.
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Carolyn Weber
  • Date Published August 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8499-4611-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 480pp
  • Price $16.99
  • Review by Cheryl Wright-Watkins
Carolyn Weber's relationship with Oxford University began with a surprise when she received a letter in the mail announcing that she had won a full scholarship to pursue her post-graduate studies there. Without her knowledge, a professor had submitted her name for consideration for the scholarship. The book chronicles many more surprises that accompany Weber's Oxford experience, most significantly her spiritual journey from cynical agnostic to evangelical Christian. Without a note of self-pity, Weber describes growing up in poverty with her mother and siblings after her father abandoned the family. A high-achieving student, she realized that through hard work she could improve her future prospects and become self-sufficient. Weber's admission that she lied about her age on the application in order to qualify for her first job is particularly poignant following recollections of her family's lavish lifestyle during her early childhood, before her father's questionable business deals and resulting arrest doomed the family to financial devastation.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Joel Lewis
  • Date Published June 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934909-26-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 124pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Pia Aliperti
“You’re reading the poems of a man,” Joel Lewis offers in Surrender When Leaving Coach, “who feels all the time / . . . like he’s rooting about / in the ruins of a cheap Pompeii.” Pompeii, for Lewis, is the familiar bus line along Staten Island’s Port Richmond Avenue that he will return to throughout the book, among the other well-worn routes he will cull for the daily strange, the repetitive, the hilarious, and the ephemeral. “Once again my obsession with / the motion of buses, trains and canal boats,” Lewis notes in the title poem of the collection, named for the instructions printed on the old bus tickets of his New Jersey youth. These poems look to the past even as the trains in them lumber to their stations on schedule. “In an absolute theater of time,” Lewis says, “everything happens at once.”
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Matthew Rohrer
  • Date Published April 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1940696-03-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 112pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Brian McKenna
Every evening in the city
is a deep pool of wine

Everyone who lives in the city
is drunk with it

And cannot leave

            They are surrounded by friends
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