RaveThe New York Times Book Review... fascinating and provocative ... O’Sullivan’s interest in narrative is purely pragmatic. She’s no neurologist-poet in the mode of Oliver Sacks but, rather, a globe-trotting Lisa Sanders: a briskly professional but secretly tenderhearted disease detective on a mission to dispel misconceptions that have become obstacles to cures. Her reports from the field are generally not encouraging.
RaveThe New York Times Book Review\"For insight into America’s eschatological mind-set, and into fundamentalist culture generally, there may be no more eloquent guide than Meghan O’Gieblyn ... Thrillingly alive to big questions of meaning and belief, her essays are testaments to exquisite attentiveness, each painstakingly stitched and emitting a pleasing, old-fashioned whiff of starch ... After reading her book, one could hardly disagree [with O\'Gieblyn\'s points].\
RaveThe New York Times Book Review\"Havrilesky’s grand pronouncements are so sweeping and so numerous... they quickly cease to arouse strong feelings of assent or disagreement ... the self-help framework — the stentorian assertions of diagnosis and cure — does Havrilesky a disservice. She can be a warm and funny writer, a savvy close reader, idiosyncratic, urbane. Her advice column stands out not so much for its practical guidance but for the empathy in which she wraps her message of self-empowerment — and for its comic riffs ... When Havrilesky ditches the forced affinity of \'we\' for the more modest claims of \'I,\' she has some poignant things to say. She is good at wresting fresh nuance from familiar touchstones, and arranging them into incisive, opinionated narratives.\
Peter Ho Davies
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewInfusing the whole is a sardonic humor. Racist slurs and stereotypes cling to Davies’s characters like burrs, the lacerating bits of American culture against which they must define themselves ... Davies makes it hard to laugh. There’s a hollowness at the core of his characters, as if the price of psychic oppression, of a lifetime on the receiving end of unjust laws and casual racism, is not merely a diminished sense of self but, alarmingly, an absence ... Davies’s narrative is all shimmery surfaces: smoldering lamplight, glistening skin, shirtfronts “stiff and gleaming as armor” — all of it, he implies, mere metaphor for the ultimate shimmery prize of gold.
Bonnie Jo Campbell
PositiveThe New York Times Sunday Book Review“Like the women in her stories, Campbell’s prose can be watchful and viscerally alive. It’s no accident that injuries and hospitals figure repeatedly here. She wants to drill down beneath the flesh, to hidden depths of feeling and being, to reservoirs of strength and power that these women hardly know are there.”