RaveThe New York Times Book Review\"What I have always liked about Smith’s poetry is her interest in other people’s lives. The lone self has been the sacred cow of lyric poetry since the ancient Greeks, and there’s no way to sever that link permanently, but a vacation now and then from self-absorption to look around and see what the rest of the human race has been up to can do wonders to one’s poetry ... The poems in Wade in the Water are full of memorable images nimbly put together by Smith’s exquisite sense of timing and her feel for the kind of language appropriate to the poem ... Wade in the Water is not only a political book. It asks how an artist might navigate the political and the personal, and the collection’s real strength lies in its many marvelous poems that are more private.\
PositiveThe New York Review of BooksBy obscuring the geography of the region and alluding to historical events only obliquely, The Tiger’s Wife intentionally blurs the demarcation between the real and the imaginary. Poised between reality and myth, it uses two separate narrative techniques, that of the novel and that of the folktale, one immersed in historical time, the other sealed off from any particular time … The Tiger’s Wife, with its many different stories, is a novel of immense complexity. First, it is an extended elegy for the narrator’s beloved grandfather, a man with a life story entangled in the fate of the country once known as Yugoslavia, who was able to maintain his compassion and decency in time of ethnic hatred and violence; it is also a lament for all those anonymous men, women, and children made homeless in these cruel and senseless wars.
PositiveThe New York Review of BooksReading some of her poems is like walking into a movie theater in the middle of a film one knows nothing about, trying to figure out what is happening on the screen, irked at first that the answer is not forthcoming, and gradually growing more and more entranced by the mystery of every face and every action, detached as they are from any context ... What makes Prikryl’s poems different is the way she subverts conventions by shuffling or leaving out entirely the chronology of events, blurring identities, cutting abruptly from one scene to another without explanation, and relying on the reader’s imagination to bridge these gaps ... a quality of attention, a presence of a probing intellect alert to the strangeness of our lives as well as our own estrangement from ourselves.