RaveThe NationWith its barrage of run-on sentences and its collection of haphazard, often blurry, dark photographs, Memory syncopates the ebullient and the mundane to approximate the unevenness of life’s passage—that combination of major joys, minor disasters, and moments that float somewhere in between. Flitting between the intimate and the impersonal, Memory’s combination of photography and written word mimics the flashing, fleeting experience of consciousness. Within its stream of text and image are spaces of recognition between Mayer and the reader, moments of synchronicity that collapse the decades-long gap between the hot July days of 1971 and our aching present and make Memory a hallmark of American conceptualism ... Her photographs...veer toward blurry indecipherability but are more often striking in their vivid detail—clothes pinned to a line outside in the sun, bright yellow cabs in traffic seen from a passenger seat, the white sails of a boat against deep blue waves ... Thumbing through the hardbound volume, I found myself nostalgic for the bohemianism of a time I never experienced. What becomes clear throughout Memory’s pages is Mayer’s ability to discern moments of grace within the quotidian and her scrupulous attention to the world around her.
PositiveBrooklyn Rail...another route to the everyday sublime ... Here, the everyday is filtered both through Mayer’s vantage point both as she lived it and as she remembered it later; because Mayer edited her diary entries after the images were printed, the project is inflected by a double remembering by the artist of her own impressions, thoughts, and dreams ... Mayer’s exhaustive account of one month in her life through text and image, in a manner almost filmic, appears now to anticipate contemporary artistic practice as well as contemporary developments in digital and social media.
PositiveLos Angeles Review of BooksIn Doxology, Zink has upcycled the plot points of her earlier novels—affairs between college students and their professors, unplanned pregnancies, environmental activism—onto new characters, adroitly parsing the generational conflicts and collusions between millennials and Gen X ... Zink tends to operate on a register of pastiche, and in Doxology, she reassembles the stylistic and narrative elements of the \'post-9/11\' novel by the likes of Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, and Jonathan Safran Foer, excising from them their more sentimental purviews and inserting instead a measure of dry appraisal ... What seems to be a personal problem turns out to be, as in many of Zink’s plots, hereditary, a move that grants Zink leverage to ravel her characters in predicaments that are comically banal, mostly because of her characters’ struggles to separate family trauma from personal failures ... Zink’s writing, and Doxology in particular, is perhaps best understood as...a long argument against solipsism articulated through an exaggeration of its effects. The personal isn’t political, but neither is the converse of this statement quite true.
PositiveBookforum\"More often than not, Power’s characters are also unable to foresee the impacts of their actions. Instead of looking ahead, they yearn for the individual moments in their lives to mean something, a quality that makes them lovingly human ... With less precision, another author might have rendered a character like Liam simply pathetic; instead, Power manages to convey in \'Above the Wedding\' the universality of a certain ache, of simply not knowing which experiences, which people, will hold weight in the future ... Power succeeds in describing the impulse to rely on narrative as a reconciliatory salve at the same time as he conveys its difficulty. The fear that telling one’s story won’t redeem one’s past runs through the whole of the collection; it silences characters, leading them to internalize and brood over their perceived failures.\
PositiveLos Angeles Review of BooksMy Year of Rest and Relaxation is in many ways an ideal period piece of pre–Iraq War New York. The references to early Y2K haunts are among the most enjoyable moments simply for their attentiveness to a cultural zeitgeist.