PositiveThe New YorkerNicholas Basbanes tells the tale with diligence, affection, and an occasional note of special pleading ... the central drama of his life, and certainly the narrative at the heart of Basbanes’s biography, was about to begin. There would be another marriage ... Basbanes seems almost as infatuated with her as his subject was, putting Longfellow on the back burner for twenty pages while he narrates Fanny’s European sojourn of the mid-eighteen-thirties ... Basbanes seems to take Longfellow’s banishment rather personally.
Luce D'Eramo, Trans. by Anne Milano Appel,
MixedNew York Times Book Review\"[D’Eramo’s] description of the horrors she encountered in these places is vivid but not especially novel ... D’Eramo’s constant toggling between past and present, blindness and insight, would be a challenge for any translator. Anne Milano Appel, who has translated writers as stylistically varied as Primo Levi and Claudio Magris, rises to the occasion ... Although D’Eramo earned a doctorate in philosophy, her treatment of such matters in Deviation is subpar... There is also the fact that D’Eramo, for all her fascination with the return of the repressed, never really gets to the nub of her own behavior, never really penetrates beyond her cognitive dance of the seven veils. For what it’s worth, I suspect that shame — a simple, supple, completely disabling emotion — is at the root of her self-imposed amnesia. No matter. Even at its dullest and most doctrinaire, Deviation is kept afloat by D’Eramo’s archaeological ardor, and by the surreal twists and turns of her narrative. There is indeed another tale to tell.
RaveThe Los Angeles Times...a collection of stories so effectively soldered together that we may as well call it a novel … For its first half, at least, Shakespeare's Kitchen is a delicate and droll examination of a topic you don't often encounter in American fiction: intimate friendship between consenting adults … Contradiction is Segal's instinct too. Her dapper, deceptively plain narratives never quite go where you expect them to.
Cristina De Stefano, Trans. by Marina Harss
MixedThe Los Angeles TimesThe subject’s absence turns out to be a kind of blessing, leaving the author a free hand to recount what is, by any measure, a fascinating and utterly sui generis life ... De Stefano, who has filled in some important biographical gaps, is less reliable as a critic of Fallaci’s work. She seems not to recognize that these final productions, with their depressing quotient of egotism and Islamophobia, ended Fallaci’s career on a low note.