Jonathan Russell Clark
By Jonathan Russell Clark:
In his book "The Nineties", Chuck Klosterman is not interested in what’s conventionally understood or easily graspable but in the layers that either exist deep underneath or hover loftily. It’s what makes his essays and books so fun—it allows us to reconsider accepted wisdom.
The most interesting mystery novels don’t announce themselves as such. There is no murder to solve or culprit to apprehend. Rather, events which have no obvious explanation unfold and an air of ambiguity surrounds them. Kiese Laymon’s novel Long Division belongs to this category of mystery.
I could go on and on about these collaborations, but I don’t have enough space here to describe how wonderfully, gloriously, and lovingly enthralling they are. There are poems about birth and the body, stories of misogyny at a university and of grappling with a miscarriage. These works explore heritage, family, gender, love, and in the case of the inimitable Diane Seuss, tits. Altogether, they typify the robust state of contemporary poetry.
Pola Oloixarac’s Mona (translated from Spanish by Adam Morris) is a devastating and harrowing satire of the literary world, an alternately hilarious and piercing examination of the culture surrounding books.
Mariana Enriquez’s The Dangers of Smoking in Bed joins the ranks of magic realism's finest short story writers with a group of off-kilter tales enlivened by captivating unease.