MixedLos Angeles Review of Books\"Kaufmann’s book could use a deeper analysis of scapegoating as a factor in current politics, helped by leverage from new media that peddle paranoia and conspiracy theories ... Kaufmann has done a service in assembling the facts about present inter-ethnic relations in the West. But I fear that his ideas about \'what is to be done?\' may end up being filed under \'wishful thinking.\'”
Karl Ove Knausgaard, Trans. by Don Bartlett & Martin Aitken
PositiveLos Angeles Review of Books\"\'The novel is the form of the small life,\' [Knausgaard] says in Book Six. Yet it can be the form of the large life too; and even the story of a small life must offer more than mere documentation. In Knausgaard’s defense, one could say that he convinces us that, behind his small lives, something much bigger is hiding. From time to time, his plodding style changes gear, taking his readers up into the realm of the sublime ... Knausgaard’s giant book does not make him into a giant personality. Yet that is part of the book’s fascination: we keep reading—if we do—because Knausgaard gives such a complete and heartfelt portrait of the beleaguered masculinity of our time.
Svetlana Alexievich, Trans. by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky
PositiveThe Los Angeles Review of BooksThe Unwomanly Face of War is both a tribute to what these women endured and a justification of what they chose to do. If there can be a feminist defense of mass violence, this book delivers it … Should there be a distinction between a woman writing as a historian, and a historian writing as a woman? Alexievich is frank about making the latter choice, and about her lack of interest in military history proper, in the sense of weapons, battles, or strategy. She is writing a history of ‘little people,’ and of feelings rather than events … If the Russian soul is formed by suffering, as Alexievich contends, it is suffering that has been given an unforgettable voice.