RaveNPRThe most subtly brilliant aspect of Stay With Me is how this stunning literary work serves as both astute political commentary and unfolding mystery. Adebayo draws a clear parallel between the couple and the country: like Nigeria\'s middle class, quiescent in the face of political upheaval, Akin and Yejide keep accepting the unthinkable to keep their family intact ... This denial is corrosive. Because the reader is also faithful — to Akin and Yejide\'s stories — we see where we too chose to be blind.
PositiveThe New York TimesWritten as a series of unembroidered letters Miner sends to Catamount Notes, Home Land is an energetic campaign against the art of the sunny update ... This novel...has an obvious forebear in Philip Roth\'s Portnoy\'s Complaint. Like Portnoy, Miner piles clausal filigree upon clausal filigree to create a baroque edifice of seething irony ... But Home Land is not simply an account of life at the bottom of the food chain. Miner is too interesting a loser -- in the face of his vast inconsequence, he remains unbowed ... As Lipsyte pointedly shows, Miner is less a loser than an avatar of failure, a high priest of defects. What he truly wants is to enlighten those of us who have yet to acknowledge our own flaws -- in other words, almost everybody.
PositiveNew York MagazineA grim streak runs through Munro’s new collection, Runaway, greater than the physical carnage of her earlier work … Many of these stories, in less deft hands, would be unconscionably purple. Still, Munro’s strength has always been the accumulation of seemingly unrelated detail—the frayed ends of the story yanked suddenly into a knot. But throughout Runaway’s tales, Munro sacrifices her characters to the vagaries of chance with a sheer ruthlessness that is close to unbearable.
RaveNPRGenerally, there are two ways people write about Israel-Palestine conflict: to take a side, or to take no side. Englander's brilliance is in showing that sides, like the two states, are constantly shifting. Z's effort to level the scales only makes him realize, to his surprise, both his altruism and his betrayal have killed innocent children ... Z's story comes to an end at a glorious and devastating moment — when we finally discover why he became a spy for Israel, then betrayed it. 'His Jerusalem, his Israel, his end' began at his American suburban Yeshiva, as far from a black site as one could go. There, he was 'a little boy, with a heavy prayer book and a yarmulke, like a soup bowl turned over and resting atop his head' when, in a game, his teacher lifts him and pretends to fly him to Israel. In Englander's brutal, beautiful masterpiece, it is such small moments that make up the breadth of history. In this book, they take our breath away.
RaveNPRIn the novel Dinner at the Center of the Earth, Englander has a similar goal, but on a larger scale — namely, to tell the fraught history of Israel and Palestine, and the players, large and small, who created it ... But although Englander makes us witness to larger-than-life events, this is not a novel of historical accuracy, but of historical intimacy. The book's characters are all satellites of the nameless Z, a turncoat spy held in a black site in the Negev desert by Sharon ... Generally, there are two ways people write about Israel-Palestine conflict: to take a side, or to take no side. Englander's brilliance is in showing that sides, like the two states, are constantly shifting ... In Englander's brutal, beautiful masterpiece, it is such small moments that make up the breadth of history. In this book, they take our breath away.
RaveNPRThe most subtly brilliant aspect of Stay With Me is how this stunning literary work serves as both astute political commentary and unfolding mystery. Adebayo draws a clear parallel between the couple and the country: like Nigeria's middle class, quiescent in the face of political upheaval, Akin and Yejide keep accepting the unthinkable to keep their family intact. As Yejide and Akin recount the story of their romance, they also reveal the lies and omissions that are destroying them from the inside.
RaveNPROne of the more astonishing things about Fierce Kingdom is how firmly it is a novel about parenthood ... Fierce Kingdom explores how entwined violence is in the ordinary, and how for the young, it can be a safe abstraction, or cruelly real ... Because we make fun of helicopter parents for the lengths they go to to keep perfectly safe children even safer, we can can forget that, for children, safety is a kind of love — and that makes Fierce Kingdom a terrifying book, but more importantly, a beautiful one.
RaveNPRIn Gilead, Robinson's slow, meditative prose suited the elderly Ames' voice and ruminations, which seemed to push into the past as if through dark water. Home is a faster and choppier read, with short bursts of darkly ironic dialogue that suit its younger protagonists … If Gilead was about tests of faith, Home is about where, and what happens when, one searches for redemption. Readers who enjoyed the stately, philosophical pace of Gilead may be surprised to find themselves in a house with two squabbling siblings, their fears and angers as raw as if they were still teenagers.