PositiveNewsweekAt its best, Morrison\'s prose is haunting and dreamlike, and her narrative command is masterly, as she unrelentingly frustrates her characters\' aspirations. A Mercy returns to the dark themes of Morrison\'s earlier novels—racism, violence, lust—but it is also more ambiguous about race relations than her other work, and it expends more energy exploring the related issues of power, poverty and the struggle for personal freedom. With its narrative weft of dependence and salvation, A Mercy is a timely reminder of the fragile hopes that have bound America\'s inhabitants to each other, from our earliest days into the present.
RaveThe BelieverIt’s inspiring to watch Davis map out knotty ruminations without devolving into tongue-tied panic. Her stories are also deeply funny, though not in a willful way. Eschewing one-liners, Davis creates humor by making distressing topics collide with matter-of-fact, vaguely fascinated tones. It’s as if her characters were rubbernecking while cruising past the pileups of their own obsessions. While the short pieces in Varieties will seem familiar to Davis’s fans, the longer ones reveal she is still pushing her material into even more complicated territory … Varieties also finds Davis cranking up her trademark philosophical jolts. Quite possibly buzzed on Proust, Davis (who recently translated Swann’s Way) delivers some intricate meditations on the elasticity of time … No topic that falls under her characters’ gaze sits still, because they can see through almost anything, even themselves.