Category Archives: On Books

ZIG ZAG, BIPPITY BUMP: ALONG COMES LUCIA BERLIN

Now along comes Lucia Berlin. Or here she always was, I guess, only I didn’t know it. Poor lady only had a couple of thousand readers, by one estimate. Deserved, deserves many more. Wrote in short, snappy sentences. Black or … Continue reading

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MIA ALVAR’S “IN THE COUNTRY”–HOW DO I LIKE IT? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS…

Each of the nine stories in Mia Alvar’s absorbing first collection grabs you from the start and lingers long after you’ve finished. Scrutinize as you will with your Sherlock Holmes-style magnifying glass, it’s hard to find a bad line or … Continue reading

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Girl At War — A Must Read

The title says it all. Sara Nović’s novel, Girl at War, is a compelling account of Ana, a ten-year old Croatian girl living in Zagreb, and her shocking, life-changing experiences during the cruelty and carnage that overtook her country and … Continue reading

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TWO FOR ONE: ALL THE LIGHT IT’S STILL CRUCIAL TO SEE

It seems remarkable to me—an almost spooky coincidence, as a matter of fact— that the two best books I’ve read this summer were produced by two authors who were both offering workshops at the same time in the same place—the … Continue reading

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IN PRAISE OF JIM SHEPARD’S “THE BOOK OF ARON”

(A number of people have asked about the review I did a couple of months ago of Jim Shepard’s novel The Book of Aron.  So for those of you who missed it the first time, here it is again.) I … Continue reading

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A Thank You and a Promise

A heartfelt thanks to all those who participated in the free-ebook promotion of my novel, Problems of Translation, this past July 2-4!  Many thanks to those who shared the information about the promotion, and of course, to those who downloaded … Continue reading

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FREE! FREE! FREE! MY NOVEL, PROBLEMS OF TRANSLATION FOR FREE! DID YOU SAY FREE? (July 2-4)

YES! Free! Bupkes. Nada. Niente. Zilch. Zéro. (Feel free to translate into additional languages!) In an effort to get my novel Problems of Translation into even more hands (and with my permission, of course), Amazon is running a sale–on the … Continue reading

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Bold. Brilliant. Imaginative. Scary. Meet Robin McLean’s “Reptile House”

Once you’ve read these nine stories, forgetting them is as unlikely as discovering the end-point of pi. Kissing cousins to George Saunders, Donald Barthelme, and perhaps even Don DeLillo, they are nonetheless powered by a distinctive new voice. McLean dives … Continue reading

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IN PRAISE OF JIM SHEPARD’S “THE BOOK OF ARON”

I imagine I am interviewing Jim Shepard. “Jim,” I say. “Yes, Jim?” he says. “Choosing a kid to tell the story. Choosing that kid to tell the story. Such a brave and brilliant choice! A boy so unremarkable that he … Continue reading

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