PositiveNew York Review of BooksThere’s a directness to Vera’s speech that can make this novel feel like children’s literature at times, spelling out what the reader has already intuited ... The Last Animal is Ausubel’s most conventional book, lacking the fantastic or grotesque little jolts that characterize her short stories and her two earlier novels ... Only once in this novel does she deploy her stunning gift for the narrative swerve ... Ausubel’s elegant prose is skillfully stripped back in this book, the better to suit her headlong plot and do justice to the ethical issues thrumming behind the action.
PositiveThe New York Review of Books... [a] spare but impassioned memoir ... Her stimulating book is part fan letter, part detective story, and part steely corrective to the influence of the guardians of McCullers’s estate and others who wanted to normalize her ... But Shapland has slightly oversold her thesis about the closeting of McCullers. Scholars and critics have been exploring the queer elements of McCullers’s work and even referring to her as lesbian or bisexual or trans or gender nonconforming for decades—often with less \'evidence\' than is now available. Only in her bibliography does Shapland mention Sarah Schulman, for instance, a prominent lesbian writer whose multigenre exploration of McCullers—essays, a play, a projected novel, and an as yet unrealized film—spans twenty years.6 Similarly, although Shapland visited McCullers’s childhood home in Georgia, fondling her possessions and breathing her air, she avoided meeting anyone who had known her and who might offer competing impressions: \'None of these is my Carson.\'
RaveLos Angeles TimesFaithful Place is not a page-turner but a page-lingerer ... Along with her riveting depiction of place, French has a gift for dialogue so genuine that you can hear her characters breathe. This goes beyond dialect...to a pure pleasure in wordplay and banter ... Take this book slowly and savor the details. Like a slow pour of Guinness, it’s worth the wait.
PositiveThe New York Review of Books...Burke has four narrative threads to weave—and does so with dexterity ... The novelty in Foursome is seeing Stieglitz always in relationship, rather than embattled and alone, as he has sometimes been depicted, thrashing through a thicket of mostly forgotten conservatives and philistines in the New York art world ... For readers of Foursomenew to the Stieglitz/O’Keeffe legend, the big surprise may be Rebecca Salsbury—\'Beck\'—who practically climbs out of the book and gallops off.
RaveThe Los Angeles Times ...a classic romance so cleverly embedded in a work of clear-eyed postwar sagacity that readers will not realize until halfway through that they are rooting for a pair of ill-starred lovers who might have stepped off a Renaissance stage … This is not a novel of war and its aftermath so much as a study of how people act, and how they are acted upon, in the wake of violent disruption. After you shake the chessboard, how will the pieces realign themselves? … The greatest pleasure is her subtle and unexpected prose...Never lyrical for the sake of lyricism, [it] follows the sensible course of her characters – open to beauty and alert to its dangers.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewShapiro adroitly conveys the women’s complicated intimacy, their shared history and private jokes ... there is a mirroring Oedipal dream in this perceptive, carefully layered novel ... Lee’s erotic pull, inherited from her father, is a rich loam feeding the women’s friendship. Shapiro turns over just enough of this to satisfy our curiosity.