Vol.1 Brooklyn’s September 2018 Book Preview

Remember autumn? Remember the existence of a season not characterized by overwhelming heat and humidity? We’ve heard whispers that such a season might be on the way, and that signs of it might even be visible this month. Consequently, we have some reading recommendations for the coming month, from new editions of vital speculative fiction to experimental prose to works that explore human relationships. Here’s a look at some books that might be just the thing to read outdoors as […]

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Floridian Literature, Liminal Spaces, and Absent Places: A Conversation with Eleanor Kriseman and Laura van den Berg

Eleanor Kriseman’s new novel The Blurry Years traces the coming of age of a young woman named Callie as she travels across the country and comes to understand herself. Laura van den Berg’s new novel The Third Hotel centers around Clare, who discovers her apparently dead husband walking around while visiting Havana for a film festival. These novels share a detailed approach to place; they also utilize absence in fascinating ways. I talked with both writers over the course of […]

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Upsetting Genre, With a Side of Politics: On Nick Mamatas’s “The People’s Republic of Everything”

There’s a telling moment to be found in the history of one of the stories in Nick Mamatas’s new collection The People’s Republic of Everything, likely the only collection you’ll encounter this year that includes both a counterfactual account of Trotsky’s early days and an account of a garden gnome-turned-nuclear weapon. It comes after “Slice of Life,” a tale of a particular corner of medical research and the philosophical tangents it inspires among those involved in it.

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Inside “We Are The Clash”

As you might expect from its title, Mark Andersen and Ralph Heibutzki’s new book We Are the Clash delves into the history of a certain beloved punk band–but it’s the period that they focus on that might surprise some readers. Specifically, Andersen and Heibutzki explore the complex dynamics of the band’s final lineup, the music that they made, and how this uneasily juxtaposed with the rise of reactionary politics. Between this and the upcoming release of a new Joe Strummer […]

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Where Sounds Meet Spaces, Haunted by Memory: On Cynan Jones’s “Cove”

Cynan Jones’s books tend to rest on the intersection of the interior struggles of his characters and the exterior challenges the elements present. It is only through navigating the difficulties in the natural world that the characters are able to excavate the emotional dilemmas they’re unable to process—certainly, the elements, the land, and the creatures dying at the hands of the characters are symbolic of his characters’ moods, but there is always something else happening beyond Jones’s use of setting […]

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A History of Vengeance: David Joy’s “The Line That Held Us” Reviewed

With his first two novels, Where All Light Tends to Go and The Weight of this World, David Joy established himself as one of the preeminent voices in Appalachian noir. However, he was clearly not content with that position. The Line That Held Us, his latest release, offers everything he already gave readers while commandingly treading new ground. While the narrative contains the sine qua non elements of noir and once again takes place within the context of rural Appalachian […]

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Six Ridiculous Questions: Brian Alan Ellis

The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance. So, then, without any further disturbance, my first guest/victim is writer […]

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On the Convergence of Songs, Images, and “The Orchid Thief”

When Kevin Larimer, the editor of Poets and Writers Magazine, emailed and asked if I’d be up to take part in another “inspiration experiment” I instantly knew just who I wanted to invite. The first time we had tried this, two years prior, we worked with author Joyce Carol Oates. Oates kindly agreed to read her poem Too Young to Marry, But Not Too Young to Die, and then listen as a number of artists read and performed pieces written […]

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