The Week In Reviews: Lethem, Updike’s Self-Consciousness, Amelia Gray, and more

A weekly appreciation for the art of the review.

That our interests are absurdly subjective and eclectic is part of Lethem’s thesis—he is perfectly content to overstate his position, trusting his readership to presume the artificiality of critical posturing.

– John Reed at The Rumpus on Jonathan Lethem’s The Ecstasy of Influence


“And if Thomas Pynchon and E. L. Doctorow are perhaps the only other contemporary writers who have so purposefully interrogated America’s history and present, Erickson has equipped his questioning with a singular tenderness, frequently distressed and aching.”

– Pawel Frelik on Steve Erickson’s These Dreams of You at Los Angeles Review of Books


“The book hangs delicately on the border between reality and dream. It feels spectral and opaque. Gray writes to obscure.”

Rachel Syme on Amelia Gray’s Threats


“Updike emerges as a man who thought he was monstrous because of his life-long battle with psoriasis, who felt ashamed of his bad teeth and his family’s poverty, who sensed in himself ‘some falsity of impersonation, some burden of disguise or defeat’, which may be nothing more than the reflexes of someone who lives through his characters and seizes on every moment of his intimate life as ‘material’.”

Edmund White at Granta on John Updike’s Self-Consciousness


“At the endless, stuffy cocktail party where everyone’s going on about authenticity in music, Merritt’s formalist convictions feel, at best, like a refreshingly icy gust of wind coming in through an open door.”

Pitchfork on The Magnetic Fields latest albumLove at the Bottom of the Sea


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