PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewEven those unfamiliar with, or uninterested in, the oscillations of the stock market may find themselves gripped by Patterson’s account ... Patterson doesn’t come out and say what we should think of these camps: He is primarily showing us how their machinations work. But rarely does the reader see his chaos kings err, and as the author threads in more contemporary issues like the climate crisis, cryptocurrency and the war in Ukraine, we see their ideas becoming only more ascendant.
Thora Hjorleifsdottir, tr. Meg Matich
PanNew York TimesFor such an important subject, the ensuing novel — about Lilja, a 20-year-old woman devoted to her abusive boyfriend — renders characters as flat, didactic archetypes rather than fully fleshed-out individuals ... Even with Hjorleifsdottir’s attention to the nuances of intimate partner violence, one senses there is little to know about these characters that isn’t right on the surface.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewYoder explores familiar themes through an inventive conceit, literalizing the surrealness of motherhood with dark humor and a keen sense of irony.
PositiveThe New York Time Book ReviewThis is an imperfect debut: Scenes drag, the dialogue is stilted. Amy’s back story doesn’t much help to explain why she does the things she does. Feeling optimistic about Gary, Amy thinks, \'We had our own story, and it was just as compelling as any other.\' McClorey manages to capture the human desire to shape our lives with narratives — and how devastating it can be when reality departs from them.
Tove Ditlevsen, trans. by Tiina Nunnally and Michael Favala Goldman
PositiveThe NationDitlevsen’s voice seems to reach us from a place of psychological remoteness. It is, at times, unnerving just how isolated she seems to be. Ditlevsen’s nonbiological relationships—with her friends, with her several husbands—feel contingent, as does her connection to the events of her own life ... Reflection and introspection burn slowly in the books, but pure facts are often relayed at this clip. Pivotal, life-altering moments might be sublimated into two or three sentences, or lines of dialogue ... This style of narrative, when deployed to describe trauma—taut, lucid, composed—can have the paradoxical effect of giving readers the impression that Ditlevsen is not an agent of the things that happen to her. How seamlessly does her life descend into disaster, and how little does she seem to resist ... Ditlevsen resists the conventions that would make her memoirs conform to the narratives placed on so-called rediscovered women writers, whose stories are often expected to proclaim victory over the conditions that would have rather had them toiling away in obscurity ... These brisk memoirs are the sort one might write if they knew tragedy, both the quiet and disastrous sort, awaited them ... Yet the experience of The Copenhagen Trilogy won’t leave one completely distraught. It is easy to be saddened by the wreckage Ditlevsen leaves in her wake, and by the knowledge that it only continued to accumulate: Ditlevsen died by suicide five years after publishing Dependency. But while suffering for one’s writing is far from glamorous (and certainly far too over-romanticized), it is a small victory that Ditlevsen, whose life seemed due for suffering anyway, got to choose it at all. And the writing is beautiful.
PositiveBroadlyIf Jenny Odell...were a different writer and a different thinker, she’d take the route many others have and tell you the solution to these anxieties is to unplug ... Instead, she proposes a collective shifting of attention that results in a more considered awareness of how we relate to the physical world, to others, and to ourselves. The way to achieve this, she says, is to grow comfortable doing nothing ... luckily, Odell knows it’s both tired and banal to devote a book to urging readers to do so ... Odell takes several approaches to her argument for such a mass movement, threading ruminations on urban theory, technodeterminism, personal experience, and Marxist thought throughout. Amid the book’s roughly 200 pages, many will be pleased to find, she devotes hardly any space to familiar refrains about the relentless news cycle in the Trump era ... By resisting the popular impulse to use Trump as the nucleus of any theorizing about our present moment, Odell is able to outline a much bolder proposition for political resistance.
PanBroadly\"There’s little value in making a reader’s discomfort the sole point of a piece of fiction, yet most of the works that surround \'Cat Person\' don’t seem to go much further. Particularly appealing to Roupenian is the shock value in foregrounding female antagonists ... How could such gruesome tales manage to be so tedious? ... Roupenian doesn’t have a responsibility to sort it all out for us; but in her binary explorations of abuse, she’s missed an opportunity to capture the gray areas.\