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Book Reviews by Title - W (78)

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Janet Lewis
  • Date Published August 2013
  • ISBN-13 9780804011433
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 112pp
  • Price $9.95
  • Review by Patricia Contino
Life choices were nonexistent for Bertrande Guerre (née Rols) in sixteenth century France. Her marriage to Martin was arranged between their wealthy peasant families when they both reached puberty. A distant husband, Martin grudgingly comes to respect Bertrande when she sides with him against his cruel father. To prove her love, she covers for Martin when he runs away. “Eight days” turns into eight years, and Martin returns a changed man . . . that is, if it really is him . . .
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Eloise Klein Healy
  • Date Published March 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59709-759-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 248pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Emily May Anderson
The beauty of a “new and selected” book is that it can provide a wide-ranging introduction to readers unfamiliar with a poet while serving to remind familiar readers of all the reasons they loved the poet’s work in the first place. The risk sometimes is that drawing from a poet’s entire career can yield too diverse a book, one which lacks cohesion. That is not the case in A Wild Surmise. Although it includes poems from throughout Healy’s long career, the tone of the book is consistent—from the opening acknowledgments to the closing poem, the tone is celebratory, grateful, and entirely current. Whether a reader is already familiar with Healy’s work or not, the poems are engaging, the presentation is savvy, and the subjects (love, death, nature, urban life) are both timely and timeless.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by John Oliver Hodges
  • Date Published May 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59948-288-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 160pp
  • Price $8.00
  • Review by Patricia Contino
For better and usually much worse, fictional runaway teenage girls end up on ships bound for the colonies, the big city of offices and/or brothels, behind enemy lines, or never far from an estate with a wealthy young landowner. Ruth is the Florida native taking refuge in an upstate New York commune in John Oliver Hodges’ neo-Gothic coming-of-age novella, War of the Crazies. Though set in 1989, the situations this 19-year-old beauty finds herself in recall those of her literary ancestresses: growing up too fast, local men and boys falling hard for her, the hysterical obsessive of love (Silva, who prefers “meditation over medication”), and a serious household accident.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Arlene Kim
  • Date Published July 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-57131-440-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 96pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by H. V. Cramond
Now wake up it's time to eat! Show me
your tongue, my sweet…
boil her down to bone.
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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Eugene Marten
  • Date Published September 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0963753618
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 132pp
  • Price $10.00
  • Review by Matt Bell
Eugene Marten's second novel Waste will entrance you from the very first page, drawing you in with its tight, evocative language and magnificent pacing. For the first third of the book, you'd be excused if you thought that all you were getting was a wonderfully written but generally quiet book about a creepy janitor working late nights in a high-rise office building. You'd be wrong, but your mistake would be understandable, and quickly rectified: What follows is one of the most disturbing stories I've read.
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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Dominique Fabre
  • Translated From French
  • by Jordan Stump
  • Date Published February 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0977857692
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 160pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Laura Di Giovine
In Dominique Fabre’s The Waitress Was New, the narrator Pierre, affectionately known as Pierrounet, is a veteran bartender in the Parisian suburb of Asnières. He is fifty-six and has worked at Le Cercle bistro for 30 years. He spends his days watching people rush to and from the train station, serving his customers, empathizing with them and even, at times, emulating them – a young man in black broods over a beer and Primo Levi and Pierre attempts to read If This Is a Man at home just “to keep up on things.”
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Patricia Jabbeh Wesley
  • Date Published August 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1932870404
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 88pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Renee Emerson
Where the Road Turns is a rich and textured collection of poems interested in gender roles, issues of cultural identity, and migration. The book opens with the poem “Cheede, My Bride: A Grebo Man Laments—1985,” a narrative poem from the perspective of a Grebo man who contemplates the role of his wife in society: “in Monrovia, women wear pants and a man / may walk around, twisting like a woman” and “they say women fell trees and men walk / upon them like bridges.” The first section of the book contains similar poems that are from the perspectives of tribal men and women, often directly addressing their lovers in a love song or lament. In “Love Song When Musu Answers Her Lover,” the plain diction and repetition of “Let us not make babies, Kono, my lover / Let us collect these timbers, scattered” authenticates the voice of the poem, allowing the reader to enter into a character that they may not be altogether familiar with.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by George Bilgere
  • Date Published January 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1932870350
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 80pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Renee Emerson
The White Museum is written in the casual, chatty style similar to that of Billy Collins. Bilgere has a dry sense of humor that simultaneously pokes fun and is hyper-aware of his standing as a white, middle-aged man. Like Collins, his humor often takes a turn into the dirty-old-man realm, referring to “the girls” “trying out their newfangled breasts” in “Solstice,” and his “star[ing] at the breasts / of that sixteen-year-old girl / in the sky-colored bikini. Touching them / would mean the electric chair, / but still…” in “Americana.”
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by James Kaelan
  • Date Published July 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9820348-4-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 214pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Tessa Mellas
James Kaelan’s We’re Getting On opens with an inscription that reads, “This book is dedicated to Leslie Epstein who hated this novella, and to Ha Jin who was considerably more amenable.” This prelude is odd but apt, a warning that says,
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by David Brennan
  • Date Published February 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1935402756
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 87pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Jeremy Benson
I was reading The White Visitation in the Detroit International Airport, waiting for my flight to Charleston, when the Iraqi gentleman on my left nudged my arm. “Is that the bible?” he asked.
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