Rave4Columns... a sustained, uncompromisingly even-handed meditation ... Through twists and turns and idiosyncratic forays, Nelson pursues the ways in which care and constraint impact on any lived experience of freedom ... it is dense with references, analyses, provocations, and arguments in the style of her earlier scholarship in The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (2011). But it also contains the sympathetic, straight-talking, dare I say \'maternal\' voice of Nelson’s best-selling auto-theory memoir, The Argonauts (2015) ... Nelson’s approach to understanding the conflicts, and what is at stake for artists and communities, is relentlessly dialectical, presenting multiple viewpoints and critiques ... Nelson has a vast capacity to embrace and \'hold\' the contradictions of difficult art. This critical compassion is one of her great strengths ... Nelson is forthright and sanguine in her willingness to speak candidly about the missteps and blind spots of [the #MeToo] movement that simplistically admits only perpetrators and victims, and unwittingly erases complexity and ambiguity. Her research is profuse and rich ... Even though \'Drug Fugue\' taxed me, as a reader, it had the paradoxical benefit of delivering an engrossing bibliography: I’ve had a long-standing interest in the literature of addiction, and Nelson’s chapter is a syllabus unto itself ... The final chapter, \'Riding the Blinds,\' on climate change, is a gut punch and a wake-up call for anyone who needed it.
Rave4ColumnsMyles did not want to follow up Inferno with another page-turner, a genre unbefitting Afterglow’s subject: the death and afterlife of the author’s beloved pit bull, Rosie. Instead the writer slows it down and complicates the narrative arc in a way that is challenging, at times to the point of bafflement, but ultimately worth it ...many transmutations/migrations of bodies and souls across gender, species, and generations elaborated in the collection of heterogeneous chapters that make up Afterglow ...is composed of disparate, stylistically discrete fragments, but there are touchstones that structure it as memoir, moments one would reliably expect in such an account ... Afterglow is no less 'a poet’s novel' than Inferno, and in its twisty, woven way it is as much a love letter to human family as to its canine counterpart.