PositiveThe Guardian (UK)Malik is rigorous in her assembling of the evidence that counteracts these dominant stories, illustrating that the events of the past three years were, in fact, a point in a historical continuum ... a call to change the focus. At the beginning of Malik’s discussion of the myth of virtuous origin, she writes that \'there is no mainstream account of a country’s history that is not a collective delusion\'. We can read this book, then, as an anti-mainstream history: a disruption of the delusional mythology that justifies so much harm.
PositiveThe Guardian (UK)\"Within this fairytale framework, Hunter’s purposefully non-specific …adds an atmosphere of vague threat, which has a curiously numbing effect. Italicised interludes told from the perspective of the eponymous harpy that Lucy appears to transform into invite a paranoid mode of reading: as Lucy and her family go about their daily lives, it feels as if we’re watching them inside a specimen jar, experimental evidence of human beings’ capacity to damage each other … asks its readers to consider whether emotional violence can be uncoupled from its physical counterpart, and whether one can justify the other. By blurring the boundaries of the two – a mild poisoning and revenge pornography occupy the same textual category of harm – the novel sketches out the unsettling psychological terrain that can lie beneath bourgeois marital composure.\
MixedThe Guardian (UK)... both personally and culturally, [the novel] concerns itself with the end of things. What Are You Going Through is at its best in this investigation of finality, asking questions about the will to survive, its value and its cost ... Yet despite the fact that What Are You Going Through is structured as a novel-in-chorus, incorporating many people’s stories into the narrative through their conversations with the narrator, the two central characters are the only ones drawn with complexity ... In this way, the novel feels unintentionally representative of the imaginative failure of contemporary liberalism: its inability to even envisage, let alone work towards, different social structures ... In the final pages, the narrator sits on a park bench, \'blessing\' those that pass, asking for forgiveness herself. What Are You Going Through reaches, in its second part, towards mercy; it just fails to believe that everyone deserves it.
PositiveFriezeThe poems are deeply rooted in the physical, with an unrelenting focus on bodily detail ... The collection has moments of bathos—the bad jokes about Shelley in ‘Repeat Until Time’ jar and flatten—but read together Three Poems is steadfast in its dedication to pushing its modes of writing beyond their natural limits, in free verse that grows more productively strange each time you read it[.]
RaveThe White ReviewReading Sally Rooney’s second novel Normal People is a compulsive experience ... Normal People is a love story in the truest sense, by which I mean a novel intimately concerned with the things two people can do to each other, and how much we each might want to hurt or be hurt ... Normal People