PositiveThe Atlantic[Gorton] explores the clash and interplay of talents that created an entity greater than the sum of its parts, absorbed in an endeavor as important now as it was then: molding coherent narratives that help readers—surrounded by a cacophony of daily stories—grasp the changes they are living through.
PositiveThe San Francisco Chronicle...a restlessly erudite portrait of post-marital strife. The book's satisfactions lie in its cold-eyed probing of the ‘aftermath,’ which, as she tells us, is a second sowing after the initial harvest … Like the Frankenstein monster, Cusk is on the outside of domestic life, looking in - peering at families in church, trying to remember what a family dinner felt like, feeling an odd mixture of liberation and stigma … She intellectualizes, yes, but this book is a solace to anybody who has dwelt in post-familial wastes. As she points out, every civilization has in it the seeds of its own destruction, but wastelands have their own beauty, their own potential for rejuvenation.
Svetlana Alexievich, Trans. by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky
RaveThe Washington Post...[a] harrowing and moving account ... The Unwomanly Face of War tells the story of these forgotten women, and its great achievement is that it gives credit to their contribution but also to the hell they endured ... Alexievich did an enormous service, recovering these stories. The outsize Soviet role in defeating the Nazi army and liberating Europe is often neglected. If men who fought on the eastern front have gotten short shrift, how much truer of the women. As a female rifleman scrawled in charcoal on the Reichstag: 'You were defeated by a Russian girl from Saratov.' That may be an overstatement, but it is not altogether untrue.