MixedThe Boston GlobeAs a writing instructor I found myself underlining passage after passage, eager to read them aloud to my own nonfiction students who oohed and ahhed in recognition, just as I’d expected ... This is a generous-hearted book, a wise, and you go, girl empowering book, yet there’s a regrettable thinness to Body Work. The book is composed of just four essays, including two previously published and available online. Even with wide margins, and extensive quoting from outside texts which widen the margins further, the book comes in at just over 160 pages. As I read, I couldn’t help but think that after her last collection became a 2021 bestseller, Febos felt pressure to get another book out. Body Work is good but not great. More than why I write, or how I write, I would have loved to see how to write well. Less Maimonides and more Melissa, please.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewSome argue that autistic stories should be written by autistic people, that parents have dominated the conversation long enough ... Allison Moorer proves that this can be done with respect ... Some parts of this book are written directly to John Henry ... Others are written to the strangers who stare at him ... At times, these shifts give the memoir a disjointed aspect. Nevertheless, Moorer brings shape and voice to what it means to love and support someone you may never understand ... It’s impossible to know whether John Henry approved of his mother’s story or whether he’ll ever be able to read it. But in this heartfelt book, Moorer delivers a resounding tribute to his powerful impact on her life.
RaveThe New York Times Book Review\"... funny and wise ... While the [story line focussing on the TV show \'Transparent\'] is fascinating and fun, it’s Soloway’s deeply considered and honestly depicted quest for an authentic self that gives this memoir its depth ... Collectively these voices shape Soloway’s awakening as an artist and as a person, but it’s the book’s interpretation of their work that speaks so urgently to our cultural moment. She Wants It dives deep into the meaning of female consent... and the cultural costs of men silencing women in order to protect other men in power.\
iO Tillett Wright
MixedThe New York Times Book ReviewThe emotional heart of the book lives within this tension — between taking care of his controlling and needy mother and taking care of himself. In this struggle, Tillett Wright is cleareyed but compassionate ... Though passionately felt and described, his struggles can feel overdetailed; they’d benefit from the insights of an older, wiser narrator. To make reference to Vivian Gornick, it’s too much situation, not enough story ... While he was living his life, history was also happening, and the inclusion of that history could enlarge his memoir. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to root for Tillett Wright when he finally comes into his own.