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Book Reviews by Title - S (147)

  • Subtitle Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Karen Finley
  • Date Published September 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-87286-691-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 168pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

If reading about bodily functions, bodily excretions, or strange items put into body orifices offends you, be forewarned, they’ll clobber you in Shock Treatment, the 25th anniversary reissue of Karen Finley’s 1990 book.

  • Subtitle An International Anthology of Five Centuries of Short-Short Stories, Prose Poems, Brief Essays, and Other Short Prose Forms
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  • Book Type Edited
  • by Alan Ziegler
  • Date Published March 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-89255-432-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 368pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Matt Weinkam
Amid the ever-increasing number of short-form anthologies, Short: An International Anthology of Five Centuries of Short-Short Stories, Prose Poems, Brief Essays, and Other Short Prose Forms attempts to distinguish itself through comprehensiveness. As the unwieldy subtitle demonstrates, all genres, modes, centuries, and nationalities are fair game and the only limitation is that the piece be “fewer than 1250 words.”
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Brian Allen Carr
  • Date Published March 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-933896-54-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 160pp
  • Price $22.95
  • Review by Hazel Foster
While Short Bus may not be a typical beach read, that’s exactly where I took this strong fiction collection by Dark Sky Magazine fiction editor Brian Allen Carr. I read this book on the shore of Lake Michigan, in the sand, in the sun, despite its lack of sunny-ness. It was that good.
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Janice Gary
  • Date Published August 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-61186-072-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 246pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Cheryl Wright-Watkins
In this memoir covering more than thirty years, teacher and award-winning writer Janice Gary expertly braids together her life’s themes and experiences, focusing on her fifteen-year relationship with Barney, a stray Lab-Rottweiler that she finds in a supermarket parking lot. Barney fulfills the prediction made during his first visit to the veterinarian: he grows into a very big dog. This presents a complex problem for Gary after Barney becomes dog-aggressive as a puppy when he’s attacked by a larger dog and subsequently attacks and injures several neighborhood dogs. Gary, a trauma survivor who at fifteen years old found her father’s body after his suicide and then four years later was raped at gunpoint in a dark alley, explains how Barney’s size and power initially provide her with a sense of safety and security, although, since he outweighs and overpowers her, she’s challenged to control him when other dogs are present. The writer wins the reader’s sympathy for this life-loving dog, whose emotional wounds mirror the wounds of his owner: “We were twins, the two faces of fear walking side by side.”
  • Subtitle Brick Books Classics 1
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Anne Carson
  • Date Published January 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-77131-342-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 75pp
  • Price $20.00
  • Review by Patrick James Dunagan
"Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living." So reads the one sentence biographical author note as retained in this new edition of Short Talks, the poet Anne Carson's first book of poetry originally published by Brick Books in 1992. In the years since its publication Carson has made a considerable name for herself as a poet, essayist, and astutely adept translator of Greek, with her translation of Sappho in particular garnering much well-deserved acclaim. While Carson has always kept her personal details on the relative down low even as she has, at times, courted a fair bit of notoriety, and while concision is a definitive hallmark of her oeuvre, the brevity of this bio note is thus at once both disarming and appealingly elusive, especially for a poet of her stature.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Christine Hume
  • Date Published December 2009
  • ISBN-13 9781933996165
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 104pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Marthe Reed
Christine Hume’s language, “alive and lying,” takes us – shot or shunted – down into night, the imaginal-space of gestation. Mina Loy’s daughter-poet, Hume composes a Baedeker of the body pregnant, mapping a haunted landscape with a language she makes strange, dream wording a dream world: “I hear myself coming from your thoughts . . . Skull pockets that burn without warnings.”
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Ange Mlinko
  • Date Published April 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-56689-243-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 81pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Christine Kanownik
Ange Mlinko’s previous books have earned her much praise and fanfare and it does seem like she deserves it. Her third book, Shoulder Season, is sharp, entertaining and engaging. Her poems are timely and important. There are very few poets who can accomplish this feat. She is grappling with the world as it is. The landscapes are chaotic but the messages are not didactic.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Daniel Allen Cox
  • Date Published April 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1551522463
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 176pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Brian Allen Carr
Daniel Allen Cox is brilliant with a picaresque vignette. He bobs and weaves through Shuck, throwing glimpses at the porn industry, New York City, gay sex and literary magazine submissions with steady grace, floating through the voice of Jaeven Marshall, aka the new Boy New York:
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  • Book Type Short Stories
  • by Norman Waksler
  • Date Published August 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0981589923
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 132pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Laura Di Giovine
Norman Waksler’s second short story collection Signs of Life reveals just that. Throughout these colorful vignettes, the reader detects signs of life, a glimpse of those small elements that illustrate humanity’s solidarity. The six stories tumble through our consciousness, some unearthing a longing for the past or the sweet innocence of first love, others revealing the inevitable regret that stems from apathy and the dull disappointment of the typical workday.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Tayari Jones
  • Date Published May 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-156129900
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 340pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Alex Myers
Atlanta in the late seventies and early eighties, two women, two daughters, one man: such are the major players in Tayari Jones’s Silver Sparrow. Delicate and tender without being cloying, this novel explores not only the strangeness of bigamy but also what it means to be a wife, to be a sister, to be a family. The premise of Jones’s plot is straightforward: James Witherspoon, a black man who runs his own limousine company, has married two women and fathered a daughter with each. Only one wife, Gwen, and her daughter, Dana, know of the existence James’s other family (Laverne, the wife, and Chaurisse, the daughter).

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