Issue 134 |
Winter 2017-18

Book Recommendations from Our Former Guest Editors

by Staff

Ann Beattie recommends After the Eclipse: A Mother’s Murder, A Daughter’s Search by Sarah Perry (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017). “It’s the story of a murder, but it’s an amazing account of class in America, of life on the fringe of a fabric we now see fraying more every day. It’s beautifully written and I’m amazed that anyone so close to the still elusive facts could ever write this.”

Jennifer Haigh recommends Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enríquez (Hogarth, 2017). “I am obsessed with this collection of stories set in contemporary Argentina. This is the first of Enríquez’s books to be translated into English, but you’ll quickly forget you’re reading translated work. You’ll forget you’re reading at all. Riveting, startling, exquisitely crafted, and sometimes brutal, these stories kept me awake all night.”

DeWitt Henry recommends Questionable Shapes by David Gullette (Cervena Barva Press, 2017). “Forty-one poems from some fifty years of writing by one of this magazine’s early editors. This collection is remarkable for formal variety, wit, lyricism, learning, and dramatic voices. Gullette’s quarrel with the world is also a celebration, and rich with adventure.”

Jane Hirshfield recommends Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar (Alice James Books, 2017). “Calling A Wolf A Wolf leaps for the throat with both ferocity and precision. The centrifugal force of Kaveh Akbar’s images and language is matched by the centripetal clarity, density, and—if one may use such an old-fashioned word—visibly hard-won wisdom each page carries. What is sayable about being human has here been expanded.”

Rosanna Warren recommends the Hungarian poet Szilárd Borbély’s collection Berlin-Hamlet (NYRB Poets, 2016). “A work of haunting and haunted sophistication, elegantly translated by Ottilie Mulzet.”

Eleanor Wilner recommends Salvage by Cynthia Dewi Oka (Northwestern University Press, 2017). “These are stunning poems of a migrant whose depth-charged poems embody and defy history’s savage dislocations. This is poetry of ravishing intensity, wild invention, fierce and fearless vision—a woman writing in the vein: vital, urgent, and inspiriting to read.”