MixedThe Star Tribune... sparky but flawed ...Prins\' erudition is on full display here ... he has crafted a clever faceoff between Tessa and Chris. But then he stretches further the chase into a finale that, unfortunately, falls flat. Inexplicably, the ending collapses into contempt for the characters ... Perhaps Prins\' intention is to capture the murky area of consent and choice, but it comes off as farcical.
PositiveNPRThrity Umrigar\'s important new novel Honor isn\'t an easy read ... It\'s a searing meditation on the meaning of dignity in a dehumanizing world ... Umrigar writes not only as an elegant storyteller but as a sharp-eyed reporter, no doubt informed by her experience as a former journalist. Her reportorial style takes us deep into the lives and minds of vividly realized characters, showing us their gestural quirks, geniality and, at times, horrific cruelty. If you are familiar with the country, the novel\'s depiction of Indian manners will seem startlingly true-to-life ... Yet she also lapses into sentimental didacticism that sounds inauthentic. The novel\'s conclusion is a crowd pleasing melodrama that ticks all the correct boxes. To some extent it follows inevitably from the novel\'s premise. But for all its structural weakness, the earnestness of Umrigar\'s intention is unquestionable: She convinces us that to read is to comprehend and to comprehend is to act.
RaveNPR... engrossing ... Hustvedt has combined the lively and tactile with more wide angled philosophical questions about perception and reality. Mothers, Fathers, and Others sifts a wide range of memory, experience and disciplinary perspectives into essays that bring into focus the profound contradictions of motherhood ... The most memorable entries in this collection are Hustvedt\'s reminiscences of mothers in her extended family ... Mothers, Fathers, and Others makes a fascinating companion to Motherhood: A Manifesto ... The two books brilliantly capture the joy and pain of motherhood: elation and depression, wonder and weariness, love and hate for the offspring.
RaveLos Angeles Review of Books... enthralling ... Taste Makers anatomizes the insidious ways xenophobia persists in the American food world, depriving immigrant culinary experts, especially women, of recognition and respect ... Sen’s book blazes with rage at this injustice as it commemorates these creators’ merit and mettle ... Sen draws on cookbooks, memoirs, media coverage, and interviews to create a lively group portrait of these talented women omitted from the American culinary canon ... Sen has brought to light a stellar cast of culinary experts that readers may not know about but should. There is outrage in his tone as he chronicles the discrimination his subjects encountered, but he makes his case without too heavy a hand. He is actually generous to all, even Julia Child, who, we learn, struggled with misogyny in the food world. Sen fuses deep research with a debater’s ardor and moves seamlessly between biography, history, and cultural analysis. The overall impression is one of disciplined persuasion.
MixedSeattle TimesA daring adaptation ... An inventive horror-comedy full of altered realities and uncanny weirdness ... The result is an omnibus Shakespeare adaptation, simpler than the originals, but resonant with Awad’s own voice ... It’s thrilling the way Awad makes the plays shift, change and blend on the page. Reading the novel is like viewing the world on hallucinogens — or a high dose of painkillers. And if the intrusion of trickster devils into a serious story sounds silly, it is. Awad’s dexterity lies in combining horror with hilarity ... And what a wonderful study of human monstrosity this is. Suffering, it is so often claimed, makes us more compassionate, more human. But, this novel asks, does it really? ... Ultimately, this novel sounds more like an experiment in form than a deeply felt experience of pain. It’s an artful performance, but something fails to make it emotionally resonant.