RaveGuernica\"I wrote down the microchemical raptures I was having, one after the next, from beginning to end of this revelatory novel ... The Lost Children Archives [is] a semi-autobiographical gloss that Lueselli skillfully crafts without dipping into the pedantic accumulations that sometimes overwhelm such books ... It is a breathtaking journey, one that builds slowly and confidently until you find yourself in a fever dream of convergences. The Lost Children Archive is simply stunning. It is a perfect intervention for our horrible time, but that fleeting concurrence is not why this book will be read and sampled and riffed on for years to come ... The Lost Children Archive contains multitudes, contradictions, and raises difficult questions for which there are no easy answers. It is a great American novel. It is also a great human novel.\
RaveGuernica MagBerlin is an incredible feat of concentration and sustained storytelling, with compelling, complicated characters from beginning to end. Berlin ends with a lack of certainty or conclusion that is nevertheless satisfying. History’s hammer is about to descend, but we know how that story goes. The characters have made their choices. We can imagine how they lived, or didn’t, with their choices.
RaveGuernicaIn Rachel Kushner’s new novel, The Mars Room, the narrator Romy Hall feels fully inhabited ... Like Kushner, she grew up in the Sunset, then a tough, forgotten, working-class San Francisco neighborhood. You get the feeling Kushner believes that Romy’s story, but for a few twists of fate, could have been her own—instead of a critically acclaimed writer whose first two novels where nominated for the National Book Award, she might have been a stripper and single mother serving two consecutive life sentences for bludgeoning a stalker to death ... quotidian struggles are what give The Mars Room so much life. The women are endlessly creative and full of gallows humor ... In The Mars Room, Kushner transmits her empathy for Romy so effectively that we, too, are Romy. We should and do care for her, along with all of the other incarcerated women.
PositiveGuernicaTo enter Emezi’s world, you not only need to decolonize your mind, but also free yourself from patriarchal and binary ways of viewing the world ... The great trick of this novel is that we want not only peace for Ada, but also for the troubled spirits inhabiting, and one with, her. Reading Emezi’s unfolding integration of fictional forms and modes of thinking—spiritual, analytical, historical, cultural, clinical—you feel like you are witnessing a talented and emotionally astute writer finding her voice(s). Freshwater is a dazzling, problematic debut that promises so much more.