RaveThe Los Angeles Times[Cline] writes so sharply about the uncertain contours of women’s wanting that the effect is one of compelling, almost pleasurable edgelessness ... Her new novel, The Guest, proves Cline has become adept at portraying the eager heat of lust — not necessarily for sex, but for power and comfort — with cool insouciance ... A quixotic new entry in the millennial grifter canon ... If it all sounds a bit Cheever-y, that’s seemingly by design ... Is it possible for a novel to be heavily erotic without being at all sexy? A lot of seduction occurs throughout the book, but hardly any of it pulses with real pleasure ... Atmospheric and at times incandescent.
PositiveNew York Times Book Review.... at once dewy-eyed and diligent, capricious and capacious, empathetic and exacting. It’s as richly textured as a pot of gumbo. As a work of autobiography, it’s maximalist; subtitled A Memoir and a Mystery, it certainly is both of those things, but it’s also an assiduous family history, a decades-spanning community chronicle à la Sarah Broom’s The Yellow House, a coming-out narrative, a dive into Christian denominations, a wrestling with Southern heritage. To use a well-worn road metaphor, your mileage may vary ... Most moving is Parks’s depiction of a queer lineage, her assertion of an ancestry of outcasts, a tapestry of fellow misfits into which the marginalized will always, for better or worse, fit. Our selves are so often an assemblage of the stories of those who came before.
RaveElectric LiteratureWe are tasked, writes Osmundson, now as ever, \'to sacrifice, in the face of a virus, to care for one another, and yet to never lose sight of pleasure, even when both the present and the future seem impossible\'...In this scrupulous and impassioned manifesto, Osmundson looks at the nature of disease—and its impact on individuals and communities—through a distinctly queer lens.
RaveOprah Daily... a devastatingly gorgeous book that does for loneliness what The Noonday Demon did for depression—an expansive, wondrously expressive, profoundly empathetic look at social disconnection. As many of us mull over what emerging from quarantine means, it\'s hard to imagine a more perfect companion to help process that and the past year and a half ... Marvel at Radtke\'s elegant lines, her elegiac prose, and the capaciousness of her head and heart.
RaveOprah DailyEvery once in a while, a book comes along that feels so definitive, so necessary, that not only do you want to tell everyone to read it now, but you also find yourself wanting to go back in time and tell your younger self that you will one day get to read something that will make your life make sense. Melissa Febos’s fierce nonfiction collection, Girlhood, might just be that book. Febos is one of our most passionate and profound essayists ... Girlhood...offers us exquisite, ferocious language for embracing self-pleasure and self-love. It’s a book that women will wish they had when they were younger, and that they’ll rejoice in having now ... Febos is a balletic memoirist whose capacious gaze can take in so many seemingly disparate things and unfurl them in a graceful, cohesive way ... Intellectual and erotic, engaging and empowering[.]
PositiveThe Oprah Magazine... strikingly observed ... What ensues over the next 200-plus pages is indeed a wild ride: an irreverent intergenerational tale of race and class that’s blisteringly smart and fan-yourself sexy ... Leilani paints a complex, gloriously messy portrait of three people pushing boundaries.
RaveThe Oprah MagazineAs unnerving as the buzz of a neon light, Ivy Pochoda’s fourth novel, These Women, pulses with a heart-in-your-throat mystery ... On its surface, the setup is familiar, but Pochoda’s ingeniously structured white-knuckler is concerned with upending assumptions; these pages dare us to interrogate what we believe, especially when it comes to who does or doesn’t deserve our sympathy ... Discovering the hopes and hang-ups of each brash, brazen woman is as thrilling as learning how they’re connected and whether they will survive.
RaveOprah Magazine...incisive ... Tolentino’s restless intellect often shepherds the reader to unpredictable places ... Tolentino is special. With Trick Mirror, she has solidified her status as one of our most evocative social commentators.
RaveThe Oprah MagazineWatching these not-so-nice oddballs orbit one another is like rubbernecking an accident—an oh-God-oh-no marvel ... Dermansky has cultivated a style marked by humor so dry it threatens to ignite on the page. The assured deadpan prose belies the characters’ chaotic inner lives. It’s a precarious balance, but Dermansky uses deft plotting and absurdist ironies to both shock readers and probe psychological nuances ... Very Nice is a wickedly fun and emotionally potent farce about the often-frustrating fluidity of our relationships to one another and ourselves. Along the way, Dermansky skewers Wall Street and the Iowa Writers Workshop...but her real battleground is the beating heart.
Carmen Maria Machado
RaveThe Rumpus\"Machado is refreshingly frank, not only about the enjoyment of sex, but also about its physicality ... The lived reality of womanhood is so often surreal, marked by a constant vacillation between authority and acquiescence, reverence and monstrousness, that it makes sense the way to process it would be through genre fiction, whether the genre be horror, science fiction, or fantasy. With this collection, Machado joins the ranks of Margaret Atwood, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Alexandra Kleeman, writers who work towards a feminist aesthetic both by using and subverting genre conventions. Her Body and Other Parties is a masterful assemblage of tales that is at once luminous and dingy, sexy and terrifying, queer and mundane. These wondrous stories remind readers not only that the lives of women are full of paradoxes and contradictions, but that fiction as an endeavor is especially powerful when it takes as its task the examination of these ambiguities.\
RaveThe MillionsIllustrated in stark and often-gorgeous shades of gray, the book looks the way Radtke feels: at once benumbed and dreamy. The cleanliness of the linework augments the melancholy of the narrative, a technique that calls to mind Adrian Tomine, another significant chronicler of urban solitude ... Yes, Imagine Wanting Only This is about grief and loneliness and mortality, but what makes the book so vital, what elevates it beyond its travelogue-meets-grief-memoir trappings is its incisive examination of female restlessness, of the difficulty of reconciling what she wants (to be an explorer and a creator of art) and what, as a woman, she’s told to want (to be a creator of life).