RaveSouthern Review of BooksKenan’s work not only establishes a rich fictional landscape that gives life to a vibrant cast of characters—many descendants of freed slaves who settled the area—but also colorful language ... If I Had Two Wings cements Kenan’s reputation as one of America’s finest writers, and the language of the traditional hymn from which the title is taken provides an appropriate epitaph for a writer taken from us too soon[.]
Nam-Nyong Paek, Trans. by Immanuel Kim
PositiveNew York Journal of BooksFriend suggests that North Korea is, on its face, more egalitarian than the South, with men and women striving side by side for the betterment of the country. And yet there is still an expectation that women bear the traditional burdens of homemaking and child-rearing. Despite being dated, Friend offers a fascinating glimpse into the realities of North Korean life. It reminds us that the people of that country may face hardships, but they also experience the same domestic challenges that afflict humans everywhere.
PositiveThe Washington Independent Review of Books... on view are the author’s quirky sense of humor and coy, self-referential style — some of the most interesting stories feature a horror-writer protagonist who resembles Tremblay ... includes notes in which Tremblay offers \'odds, ends, anecdotes, and rants\' that provide fascinating insight into the author’s process and style ... The lack of explanation for the sources of the horror in these stories may be frustrating for some readers, but the ambiguity serves to enhance the fear and dread. And that, after all, is why we read horror in the first place.
MixedThe New York Journal of BooksWhile each of the two narratives is engaging in its own way, the link between them is tenuous. In fact, that link seems merely coincidence, a bit too cute, and that is a serious flaw. Furthermore, Lurie’s story is a picaresque tale, full of entertaining adventure and displays of imagination, but one without plot. The more compelling story is Nora’s, but it leaves the reader with far more unanswered questions. Although the whole is an entertaining read, ultimately it isn’t fully satisfying.
RaveThe Washington Independent Review of Books...if the South is disintegrating, some characters in these stories show great strength in the face of that decline, and a reader who looks for characters who grow and change during the course of a story won’t be disappointed ... Author Tom Franklin has called Michael Knight a 'master of the short story.' I will add that Knight is a master of the short story title. The titles of the stories in this volume are marvelous double and triple entendres ... A thought-provoking and deeply satisfying reading experience, Eveningland evokes the Old South without sentimentalizing its loss.