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Summer 2011

Virgin Mary

I am a garden locked up. Listen here. I am not interested in being threaded through a needle or woven into your tapestry. The eye is too fine. My kneecaps are too wide. I am a spring enclosed. Intimacy means being bruised all the time. And someone else’s thumb is pressing pressing pressing watching the [...]

The past is present

The Bird Sisters Rebecca Rasmussen Crown Publishers 2011   When they were teenagers, Milly hoped to marry and have children, while Twiss hoped to stand on the Continental Divide and “to be the world’s most interesting spinster.” Rebecca Rasmussen’s debut novel, The Bird Sisters, opens at least half a century later with Milly and Twiss [...]

The non-expert expert

Otherwise Known As the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews 1989-2010 Geoff Dyer 2011 Graywolf No writer I know occupies as many rooms in the storied compound of arts criticism as Geoff Dyer. In Graywolf’s mix of Dyer’s two British-published anthologies (one in 1999; the other, 2010), the peripatetic author traverses photography, film, music, and [...]

For better and for worse

And Yet They Were Happy Helen Phillips Leapfrog Press 2011   In her first book, And Yet They Were Happy, Helen Phillips doesn’t begin at the beginning, or even, as some writers do, at the end. Instead, she selects themes—some sacred and some intimate, some ordinary and some fantastical, some political and some apocalyptic—to weave [...]

Northerners Seth Abramson New Issues Poetry & Prose 2011   Certain poems evoke a feeling of turning inward and focusing a scope on particulars, so that the world seems to stop, and the leaf, the candle, the frost are the center of the universe. Other poems create a sense in the reader of breadth and [...]

You Know When the Men Are Gone Siobhan Fallon Amy Einhorn Books 2011   When war zone landscapes flash across the news, some of us, safe in our living rooms, worry about American soldiers overseas. But how often do civilians consider the impact of lengthy deployments and anticipated homecomings on the families left to commune [...]