In our weekend reading: new work by Kate Zambreno and K Chess, Jennifer Egan interviews Terese Svoboda, and more.
On Ghosts and Absence: A Review of Terese Svoboda’s “Dog on Fire”
“My brother was dead was what I remembered then,” reflects our unnamed narrator, “and I cried a little the way a car does when the ignition’s gone, a click and a grind, something that needs something, that could be stopped only by stopping.” That balky engine seems a defining image for Terese Svoboda’s new novel. Dog on Fire isn’t itself aflame, but rather smoldering: something that needs something. That’s not a criticism⎯ the text delivers an arresting portrait of both melancholy and a way out⎯ but rather a description of what’s lacking for the principal players. Both the grieving sister and her fellow-narrator Aphra, the brother’s lover and one of the only characters with a name, fumble after what psychologists call “closure.”
Afternoon Bites: J.A. Tyler’s Playlist, Ryka Aoki Interviewed, Terese Svoboda’s Latest, and More
In our afternoon reading: a playlist from J.A. Tyler, pondering some new music documentaries, and more.
Books of the Month: March 2023 Edition
Well, it’s March. Seasonal adjustments and clock adjustments, all in the same month. And hey, there are some books due out this month, too! We’ve got our eye on a few new titles in translation, along with some new books on indie presses we like by writers we like. Maybe one of these books will change the way you see the world this month.
Afternoon Bites: Terese Svoboda Interviewed, Neutral Milk Hotel’s Legacy, Salman Rushdie’s Latest, and More
In our afternoon reading: an interview with Terese Svoboda, thoughts on Salman Rushdie’s new novel, and more.
Sunday Stories: “When Fatherhood Goes Bad”
When Fatherhood Goes Bad
by Terese Svoboda
A real bonfire. A log, two logs, three, not kindling, a blaze roaring over the water lapping the pier, a place of red eyes in the dark, and crashing flaming collapse.
Men who are willing to think themselves boys stand around as if the fire can fix them, their hands hanging confused without unbent hangers skewered with marshmallow, and the men crying. Men like him, haggard with stuff men don’t want other men to know about.
Afternoon Bites: Sara Lippmann Fiction, Revisiting Kay Dick, Jami Attenberg’s Memoir, and More
In our afternoon reading: fiction by Sara Lippmann, reviews of books by Kay Dick and Jami Attenberg, and more.
Morning Bites: Jeannie Vanasco Interviewed, Gina Apostol, Goldsmiths Prize Shortlist, Terese Svoboda, and More
In our morning reading: an interview with Jeannie Vanasco, thoughts on Ben Lerner’s new novel, and more.