RaveThe New York Times Book Review...intelligent, perceptive, funny and quite beautiful ... Pearlman’s prose is smooth and poetic, and her world seems safe and engaging. So it’s arresting when, suddenly, almost imperceptibly, she slips emotion into the narrative, coloring it unexpectedly with deep or delicate hues ... Pearlman doesn’t limit herself to the darker emotions. She has a finely developed sense of the absurd, and comic moments ripple through the narrative ... Pearlman’s view of the world is large and compassionate, delivered through small, beautifully precise moments. Her characters inhabit terrain that all of us recognize, one defined by anxieties and longing, love and grief, loss and exultation. These quiet, elegant stories add something significant to the literary landscape ... the volume is an excellent introduction to a writer who should not need one. Maybe from now on everyone will know of Edith Pearlman.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewMany doctors have been distinguished writers—Anton Chekhov, William Carlos Williams and Abraham Verghese, to name a few. But we haven’t heard enough from nurses, whose world is just as arcane and important. Christie Watson helps close this gap. The Language of Kindness could not be more compelling or more welcome: It’s about how we survive, and about the people who help us do so.
RaveThe NationIf Gilead represents stability, stillness and peace, Lila has weathered its polar opposite: itinerancy, uncertainty and risk … Robinson’s presence within her narrative is compassionate and knowing; she inhabits her characters fully. Like God, she loves and understands each of them; she loves and understands each facet of this world she writes about. In fact, God is a powerful presence in these books. The style itself suggests his presence: the sentences are sonorous, the tone quiet and meditative. At times they sound as though they might be translations from archaic writings … Lila tells the story of the force of recognition that connects Ames and Lila—he full of faith and conviction, she full of wariness and suspicion.
RaveThe New York Times Sunday Book ReviewFerrante’s Naples is in thrall to the Camorra, which determines the girls’ behavior toward their classmates (sucking up to Camorra kids), the jobs their boyfriends are allowed (maybe working as an attendant at a gas station on the stradone) and what the girls wear when they come back from a honeymoon (big sunglasses and voluminous scarves, to hide black eyes and bruises) … In these bold, gorgeous, relentless novels, Ferrante traces the deep connections between the political and the domestic. This is a new version of the way we live now — one we need, one told brilliantly, by a woman.
RaveThe Washington PostGallagher’s voice is vital, literary and sometimes lyrical ... In Youngblood, [he] shows again how war works in the human heart — something we’ll need to know, as long as there is war.