I’ve been slowly working my way through the works of Russian science fiction novelists Arkady and Boris Strugatsky–following Definitely Maybe and Roadside Picnic, I checked out Hard to Be a God (in part because I’d been reading about a recent film adaptation of it). It’s a deeply strange book, in the best way: though set in a world that resembled medieval Europe, it’s also a work of science fiction. The protagonist hails from a future Earth, and while he’s a participant in this society, he’s […]
After several months of being told by numerous smart folks that Will Chancellor’s A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall was fantastic–and running into its author at a fair amount of literary happenings around town–I cracked into it. And: ever read something that you’d wished you’d read earlier for any number of reasons? Well, Chancellor’s novel certainly falls into that category. First and foremost, it’s terrific, a story that covers everything from political unrest to a complex father/son dynamic to competitive water […]
I’d been meaning to read Beth Steidle’s The Static Herd for a while now. It’s a slim book, but a powerful one, juxtaposing scenes from a life with medical terminology ominous in its context and implications, diagrams, and illustrations. There are questions raised here of family, of mortality, and of things that go unnoticed; what it all adds up to, in the end, is a kind of impressionistic portrait of several interwoven lives, nestled alongside a meditation on observation and interpretation.
In our latest week-in-reading column, we look at new novels from Ottessa Moshfegh, Sean Michaels, and Lynn Lurie.
I started reading the novels of Rupert Thomson a few years ago, based on the fact that Maud Newton had very good things to say about his work. I wasn’t disappointed–his novels Death of a Murderer, The Book of Revelation, and Divided Kingdom are all atmospheric, morally-charged fictions that continue to haunt me now, years after I first read them.
So: The Book of Strange New Things. I’d been curious about Michael Faber’s new novel for a while, and cracked into it earlier this week. The setup is simple and almost archetypal: in the near future, a man named Peter is set on a mission to minister to a group of aliens on a distant planet, while his beloved wife Beatrice stays behind on an Earth in which existing economic and environmental tensions are ratcheting up even higher. The terrain over which […]
Over the summer, I made the trip down to Gowanus to visit the Morbid Anatomy Museum. It was something I’d been meaning to do for a while; I’d contributed to their Kickstarter campaign, and thus had a paid-for admission waiting for me as well. It’s a great space, with a particularly fascinating area of focus, and I’m really excited about how it will evolve in the coming years. Also: the cafe and gift shop is pretty excellent, with an excellent array […]
I’d had a copy of Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An Americal Lyric on my to-read shelf for far too long. Given the rave reviews her new book Citizen: An American Lyric has been getting, I thought that it might be wise to give this earlier work of hers a read. And thus: a new entry in the category of “books I should have read months ago, if not years ago.” Which is one of the dangers of reading: the regret […]