RaveThe Star TribunePowerful ... Part of what makes Watkins\' collection so enveloping is her mastery of the slow reveal ... The despair collected in Holler, Child might overwhelm if Watkins weren\'t so good at capturing the depth of her characters, sometimes finding redemptive moments amid all the pain. She has an acute eye for the resentments and betrayals that can accumulate over a long marriage and the untenable sacrifices others can demand of us, but she also captures how love can sometimes be enough to hold things together.
PositiveThe Minneapolis Star-TribuneBitterly funny ... Agbaje-Williams\' choice to forgo quotation marks is an annoyance. A few times, I found myself having to trace through conversations to figure out who said what. That\'s a small price to pay, however, for the incisive portraits she creates of her three characters.
RaveStar TribuneAccomplished ... Hokeah\'s novel not only tells a story that is ultimately uplifting, but also immerses readers in Oklahoma\'s Kiowa, Cherokee and Mexican communities ... Comparisons to Tommy Orange\'s There There are inevitable ... In Calling for a Blanket Dance, the writing is just as powerful.
RaveThe Star TribuneThrough linked stories steeped in magical realism and a narrative voice reminiscent of early Salman Rushdie, Eloghosa Osunde\'s exuberant debut novel, Vagabonds! thrusts readers into the heart of Lagos, Nigeria ... The novel\'s final third showcases the greatest strength of Vagabonds!—its ability to convey the resilience and joy of its nonbinary, trans and gay characters, even under these oppressive conditions ... Osunde blends the erotic with emotional generosity in a love story centered on a lesbian dominatrix and her partner ... Some stories vacillate between heartbreak and optimism, but the book\'s soaring conclusion, \'Witching Hours/They Will Not Depart from It,\' revisits characters we meet throughout the book and reads like the uplifting choral finale of a rousing musical ... For readers unfamiliar with Nigerian slang and culture, Vagabonds! has a learning curve. Osunde is not here to explain what jollof rice is or what wahala means, and the interplay between the spiritual and physical worlds can be disorienting. But Osunde\'s method also allows us to experience the full vibrancy of her writing ... Vagabonds! works as a phenomenal cultural entry point for anyone who, like me, is excited for more.
PositiveThe Star TribunePulling information from sociological and economic studies, sometimes moving between sources at a dizzying pace, Press constructs a fascinating through-line ... As Press\' book clearly demonstrates...shared sacrifice is a myth that has \'never been honored as faithfully in practice as in theory.\'
RaveThe Cleveland Plain DealerKlay, who served in Iraq, provides disparate pictures of soldiers’ lives through distinct first-person narrators. He bridges the disconnect between soldiers and civilians, the sense that for most of us, the war was something ‘over there’ … Taken all at once, Redeployment is relentlessly dispiriting...but in giving voice to soldiers, Redeployment exudes power. Unlike the former soldier narrating ‘Psychological Operations,’ who tells a war story and thinks ‘that the story hadn’t been enough, that something was missing and neither of us knew how to find it,’ Klay transfers some of the burden of war on us. He makes us understand what many of us have easily ignored.