RaveLos Angeles Review of BooksGreenland unabashedly explores the hypocrisies surrounding false attempts at political correctness, deeply scrutinizing contradictory values and hidden resentments of an emblematic cast of characters ... Greenland seems to be having a great time with satire here, showing the multitude of ways people can be limited by the tunnel vision created by their backgrounds, ethnicities, and religions ... Greenland’s main strength, beyond superb characterization, is his ability to weave different narrative threads together in order to maintain maximum tension and forward momentum. His plotting is masterful. Indeed, it is impressive that his book never seems to wander into distracted territory or lose its focus as the primary characters come crashing together in escalating plot points involving sexual betrayal, racial politics, and lost dreams. Greenland leaves no stone unturned in exploring his themes of racism, the privileges of race, and the intricacies and potential corruption of the justice system. The media is used to great effect ... This epic book, which can be exhausting in its thoroughness, is provocative and satisfying ... The book is undeniably bold, original, and deeply impressive in its investigation of the desire for greatness, along with the need to escape one’s background in order to arrive at some higher experience that seems just out of reach, during a specific time in recent history.
RaveThe Los Angeles Review of BooksThe Garbage Times is an homage to the randomness of life, the inevitability of shit, scum, and death, and the beauty that glimmers amid the filth ... In counterbalance to the crassness and moments of violence that punctuate The Garbage Times, Pink’s narrator shows a deep, humanizing love and respect for women and animals ... the beauty of Pink’s work — he shows the simple devastations of containment, of beings...living without dignity but still striving toward hope, over and over again, as we all do, wanting things to come out all right. This is the heart of his message, the essence of his book: we will never stop trying to keep moving no matter how confined we are ... In this quest for life and dignity is an equally powerful desire to succumb to death. Its inevitability curls underneath each page, hides in each scene. Morbid readers will really dig this book ... His stories are unique and true and impossible to put down — what more could anyone want?
RaveThe RumpusReading this memoir is like being taken further and further through the layers of a human life down to some mysterious core from which all meaning emanates. It shows us what it means to be vulnerably alive, to digest the seemingly indigestible fact of our mortality. This is a memoir to be cherished.
RaveThe Los Angeles Review of BooksDiski’s knowledge of philosophy, psychology, and feminism is woven seamlessly into the princess’s transformation from purity and contentment to self- consciousness and insatiable longing, a process that many women can relate to … What makes this collection so special and readable is its versatility. After the heartbreak of the first story, one that seems antiquated and yet timeless, we are plunged into the contemporary urban world of the second story … Diski’s legacy, her gift to the literary world, is imagination pushed to its extremes and insights so deep and probing that the reader actually reconsiders her own views of the world, of sexuality, death, vice, and virtue. This seems to be her intent, and she achieves it.