RaveNPRAsgarian\'s tenacious and vulnerable reporting reveals the foundation of this intensely disturbing story ... Asgarian\'s reporting spares no one involved in the tragedy — including herself ... The book\'s transparency is our benefit and an informed invitation to step into the nature of family abuse. It\'s not easy reading. But Asgarian\'s personalized fact finding provides essential context for understanding what happened.
RaveNPRKatherine Corcoran has plenty to say, in her epic new book In the Mouth of the Wolf, a deeply reported and riveting account of Regina Martinez\'s murder ... Gripping.
RaveNPR[A] mesmerizingly poetic world ... The Archer\'s beauty resides in Swamy\'s sequential narrative form, which reads like music — at times almost exactly like reading a musical score — but with something more; her words carry the visceral power of a dancer\'s intersection with air. It\'s a very tough technique to pull off. But Swamy\'s ability to carve meaning from a lyrical use of narrative brings the reader along with Vidya on her sublime, boundary-pushing exploration ... [Swamy\'s] new tale of Vidya\'s emergence unto herself is a beautiful inheritor of that timeless virtuosity.
RaveNPRThe beauty which is revealed through [Hashimi\'s] unraveling, survival and search for her own resilience comes from a place of authenticity — she is a child of Afghanistan and her story isn\'t imposed, it\'s part and parcel of her heritage ... The question of whether Sitara can go home again is the existential and physical journey Hashimi conjures, in a story at once surreal and deeply rooted in the history of Afghanistan\'s modern turmoil and ancient enchantment. I found myself eagerly following her adventure in a way I hadn\'t remembered in a long time — the way a child reads a new book about the unknown, impatient for the next twist and turn of the story, worried about the safety of the heroine, wondering if I could be as brave and bold as her ... She puts her medical background (she\'s a pediatrician) and her lived experience as a daughter of Afghan immigrants to good use, blending history, heritage, culture and traditions within a narrative that\'s as suspenseful as it is emotionally compelling. The place where Sitara\'s struggle to assimilate, grief and survivor\'s guilt intersect is where Hashimi\'s story reaches its zenith, and as her stepmother consoles her, we\'re compelled to both look and listen ... In Hashimi\'s beguiling tale of Sitara\'s survival, a young girl calls us to see. And though her truth becomes our discovery, Hashimi sets it at the disposal of the Afghan people, centered within the shadow of their suffering ... Hashimi beautifully communicates the answer to these questions — and catharsis when it arrives is tenderly wrought.
RaveNPRThe roads taken by the family in The Removed , Brandon Hobson\'s new novel, are essential ones in this moment of national reclaiming. The story in this book is deeply resonant and profound, and not only because of its exquisite lyricism. It\'s also a hard and visceral entrance into our own reckoning as a society and civic culture with losses we created, injustices we allowed, and family separations we ignored ... a braided story of one family\'s memories of loss and the trauma of heritage ... Powerful storytelling. The Echotas are constantly crossing over and returning from death, heritage and trauma, and Hobson puts the reader right in the center of their paths. Together, their collected and shared stories fill the world around them with a luminous seeking through grief and a learned yearning, now ours as well, that pierces through unanswered calls for justice.
RaveNPR... stunning and visceral ... Every page speaks to our current zeitgeist. Each character in these stories is occupied and occupier, trapped in a moral and existential crisis that\'s unnerving because it\'s evergreen, because the nature of human tragedy is our own making and the lessons we keep learning never seem to take ... Serizawa\'s brave storytelling gives us more than an epic arc. She creates a narrative that is in and of itself a multidimensional space. As well, it\'s an homage to the surreal artistry of writers like Jorge Luis Borges — whose voice she manages to honor with a story which is not an echo but her own capacious, original illumination ... here is the sagacity of Serizawa\'s book — her enchantment draws us into a channel of experiences and voices seemingly connected only by the consequences of their tragedies — war, betrayal, rape, murder, abandonment. But within these parables is her paradox — that joy comes from sacrifice, or the understanding that it exists within sacrifice, and not as a consequence but as a matter of one fact — the fact that a space can exist as a blessing, in every moment we take as a beginning.
Ayse Papatya Bucak
RaveNPRThese are stories that reflect the author\'s Turkish heritage and a curiosity about our human search for meaning as profound as it is lyrical. The stories are music. They beguile and illuminate with narratives about yearning and desire, circumstance and courage, resilience and discovery. Reading them, while the reading lasts, replaces seeing. I found myself lingering as I read — Bucak\'s prose has a sort of musical cadence to it; these are fables about enchantment, myth and actual history. Her subjects — schoolgirls stuck in the debris of a disaster, an art collector\'s exotic oeuvre, a Trojan War Museum imagined and re-imagined by Zeus and his fellow deities, a widow\'s chess match with her dead husband\'s ghost — occupy a dreamscape of surprising encounters, art history, and Turkish culture. Each story is a vignette that has at its core a re-weaving of human relationships.
RaveNPRMarie Arana\'s new book Silver, Sword and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story, gets at the identity conundrum of Latin America with storytelling that is both clear-eyed and evocative ... Arana\'s timely and excellent volume is not a history. It\'s not one of those cultural safaris one often sees substituted for thoughtful writing about global regions. Her book is a combination of stories, journalism, history and most important, insight ... If the sweep and soar of her narrative recalls Victor Hugo, the essence of her voice delivers that feeling which results from knowing what happens when people choose not to understand — that sense of yearning one often discovers in the music and poetry of Latin America\'s great artists ... Arana gives us an epic story of stories — of regions conjoined by desire for treasure, power and control, and of the emotional mortar which binds people together through endurance ... A reading of Silver, Sword and Stone is a punch in the face — the real impact of greed, violence and religion comes through viscerally. But Arana\'s book also reveals the paradox which both supports and defies centuries of oppression. It\'s the Latin American\'s capacity to endure. More than a lesson on oppression, this is a story about the fatalism of resilience.