RaveThe New York TimesShe champions a \'scandalous feminism,\' an embrace of all the shameful, derided aspects of our nature, a refusal to fear or shun our own thoughts. Without it, we will continue to outsource our anxieties and aggression onto other people, onto entire other populations (today’s chief targets, she argues, include mothers, migrants, trans people, Palestinians) ... It is on this point that her book turns: how elaborately we conceal our violence from ourselves; how efficiently violence flourishes in those blind spots ... Rose also examines here the relationship between violence and blindness that she has narrated before in her own story ... Rose roves widely in this book. She considers sexual harassment, Harvey Weinstein, student protests in South Africa, depictions of violence in contemporary fiction ... These questions aren’t purely ethical. Rose searches for the modes that allow us to think more clearly and creatively ... For all her attraction to unruliness, Rose’s own sentences are cool, almost enameled in their polish and control. It’s in the movement of her prose, the way she seizes and furiously unravels ideas from her previous books, that we see the vigor and precision of her mind, the work of thinking, of forging new pathways that she holds up as rejoinder to the muteness of violence.
RaveThe New York TimesAmerican Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, the new book by Terrance Hayes, has a claim to be among the first fully-fledged works to reckon with the presidency of Donald Trump — and one of the most surprising ... Each one is distinct: Some are sermons, some are swoons. They are acrid with tear gas, and they unravel with desire ... Hayes loves language; he loves the round vowel and crisp consonant. He loves to stuff a line full of sound (\'the lunk, the chump, the hunk of plunder\'), to write for the ear as well as the eye. His words call to be read aloud, to be tasted.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewIt feels as if Stein has written this book imagining it might fall into the hands of those who need such a primer — much as she once did — and she wants to give them the fortification she yearned for. She depicts her subjects with warmth and respect, and strains to include as much as she can about the social, emotional, medical and psychological dimensions of transitioning. The result is frantically overstuffed but earnest, diligent and defiantly optimistic ... Stein repeatedly allows herself to be impolitic and wincingly frank, almost using herself as a foil for the limitations of second-wave feminism.