New England Review of Books

published in boston // launched 2016 // its own excuse for being

criticism, commentary and literary news // page updates monday-friday

Quarter 1, 2018
Quarter 4, 2017
Quarter 3, 2017
Quarter 2, 2017
Quarter 1, 2017 (displayed)
Quarter 4, 2016
Quarter 3, 2016

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Items of note this quarter:
On the sacred and the cool
"They revered her"
Rereading Lord of the Rings
Gifs of movable ephemera
Hidden fore-edge paintings
Endangered alphabets
How propaganda works
Philip K. Dick against Red Lem
To ink is human
Samples from Thi Bui's debut
And then the murders began
A proofreading workout
Praise Song for the Essex River
Mythcon 48 call for papers
Mexican lit con at UTEP
NSFW tribute to Ray Bradbury
How to network as a creative
Advent Poetry Challenge vids
Las libélulas de Porfirio Díaz
Happy birthday, Rusdie fatwa
An ode to Kingsley Amis
Bookslut on feminism
Waywords & Meansigns, v.3
Daoism's Stone Age roots
Creativity the Tolkein way
A call for ekphrasis
Ukraine's slaughtered bards
Cunk on Shakespeare
Indian lit in English, after Roy
Publishing in Kurdish
A reflowering of Yiddish
Apply to Rare Book School
Remember the fate of Kelso
Lit mag rejection wiki, A-Z
Humanities in Opposition
Fotos of Alberto de Lacerda
A literary speakeasy returns
Wildean couture in Lampoon
Once more on De Profundis is out of Arendt
Chat with Chibundu Onuzo
"pharaohs have weird hair"
The Confidence-Man now timely
n00b guide to new lit
Submission call for BLM antho
Eco on Ur-Fascism
A booksellers' tale
JFK: "poetry cleanses"
Mister Twister
Five authors and their shelves
Tina Chang's "Fury"
Rethinking book aid programs
Five books on populism
Oscar Wilde couture
Our inauguration w/o poetry
Books on the GOP's crack-up
Cooking with Lemony Snicket
On ads and online reading
The Harry Potter plot map
Narcissist squash doesn't read
Fake books on the subway
Bookstock Lit Fest July 28-30
Who da bard? He da bard.
Netflix gets Snicket right
Young adult Arabic lit
Goodnight Moon and Modernism
Complete Golfer leather special
Seminal Whole Earth essays
Oscar Wilde bar opens
An itinerant Spanish bookshop
Sudanese writers fest resinstated
Forest-y fantasy books
Nelson Algren Story Contest
You gotta laugh
Suspect bestseller lists
Their worst writing of 2016


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Reviews and
03.20.17: Eldrid Herrington concludes that the two-vol Poems edited by Ricks and McCue is “an edition fit for Eliot.” link>>
03.17.17: Virginia Marshall on Elif Batuman's transformation of memoir into novel. link>>
03.16.17: "Buying a book can be upheld as an act of resistance." Sam Sacks on two books we need right now. link>>
03.15.17: The sins and virtues of the seven essays comprising Glyn Maxwell's On Poetry. link>>
03.14.17: A look at locofo chaps, 100 pamphlets of politically-inflected poetry being mailed to the White House. link>>
03.13.17: Is Contemporary Australian Poetry contemporary Australian poetry? link>>
03.10.17: Over in Dublin Review of Books, Daniel Geary reviews the latest by Arlie Hochschild. link>>
03.09.17: New bio "reclaims Carter from the fairy kingdom and places her within what sounds like a real life." link>>
03.08.17: Fighting words, a review of Civil Wars: A History in Ideas by David Armitage. link>>
03.07.17: Global storytelling and new fantasy in this anthology of tales of the djinn. link>>
03.06.17: Syed Afsar Sajid reviews three new novels, from Punjabi, Spanish and Urdu. link>>
03.03.17: Sarah Irving reviews a new volume of translations of the great Palestinian Druze poet, Samih al-Qasim. link>>
03.02.17: Gaiman's Norse myths arrive"just in time to prevent Thor and Loki from being wholly appropriated by Marvel." link>>
03.01.17: Adam Tavel on If Mercy, in which Frannie Lindsay writes poetry "against the tidy binaries of doom and bliss." link>>
02.28.17: The characters in Transit "bare an eloquent heart, then disappear into the fictional universe..." link>>
02.27.17: In anthology edited by Sophie Collins, "translation is the limiting case of mediation." link>>
02.24.17: Mohsin Hamid's new Muslim love story takes place amid a Brexit dystopia. link>>
02.23.17: How does one account for the speed with which the Arab empire was built? A new history of the Arab conquest. link>>
02.22.17: LOA's collected nonfiction of Albert Murray is "a balm in Columbia." link>>
02.21.17: At last, "an Indian historical novel that resists the temptation to be intimate with the monumental." link>>
02.20.17: Tony E. Afejuku shares his thoughts on contemporary African literary criticism. link>>
02.17.17: Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviews The Refugees, stories by Viet Thanh Nguyen. link>>
02.16.17: "One could ask, since when did dogs begin reading?" An engaging critical exchange in Kenya's Daily Nation. link>>
02.15.17: "Emily Robbins' A Word for Love is a beautifully crafted story of a young American's quest to master Arabic." link>>
02.14.17: The story behind a new translation of Ásmundsson's rewriting of Dracula. link>>
02.13.17: Caleb Crain savors the irony and schmaltz in George Saunders's first novel. link>>
02.10.17: The global reach of the stories collected in The Glass Shore resist fixed conceptions of an Irish "North." link>>
02.09.17: "The Philosophy of Language is indeed the philosophical account of the world through language." link>>
02.08.17: Emily Cooke, reviewing Scratch, holds forth on the need for writers to talk about money and (unearned?) privilege. link>>
02.07.17: A review of Patricia Bosworth Harper's The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan. link>>
02.06.17: Looking back to 2005, Jamey Hecht reviews chapbooks from Hollyridge Press. link>>
02.03.17: Carolyn Ogburn reviews The Time of Miracles by Borislav Pekić, "a novel of mania." link>>
02.02.17: Paul Scully on Our Lady of the Fence Post, a "poetic dissertation of sorts." link>>
02.01.17: Robert Minto reviews three-vol bio of Kafka: The Early Years, The Decisive Years, and The Years of Insight. link>>
01.31.17: Janaka Stucky reviews posthumous collection by the vastly undersung Bill Knott. link>>
01.30.17: Tolu Akinwole reviews Water, a collection of 21 new short fictions from Africa. link>>
01.27.17: J. D. Garrick on Eliot's 'dances' (sacred & profane), in his review of the two-volume Poems (collected & uncollected). link>>
01.26.17: M. Lynx Qualey of ArabLit rounds up the best new Arabic books in translation. link>>
01.25.17: Joel Whitney's Finks tells the tale of how the CIA used writers in the Cold War. link>>
01.24.17: J.M. Coetzee on Antonio Di Benedetto, "a great writer we should know." link>>
01.23.17: The literary history of why gay pulps never made it into mainstream bookstores. link>>
01.20.17: According to Cameron Woodhead, Paulo Coelho's fictionalized take on Mata Hari "misses the mark." link>>
01.19.17: “Ambitious, learned and lengthy” study tracks the pre-Christian gods of Ireland. link>>
01.18.17: "Many readers will finish History of Wolves and wonder what it is about." link>>
01.17.17: Rayyan Al-Shawaf on David Hajdu's "indispensable guide to developments both sudden and long-gestating in pop during the 20th century." link>>
01.16.17: Magdalena Edwards reviews The Lost Neruda Poems, trans. by Forrest Gander. link>>
01.13.17: The free-spirited author of Goodnight Moon "rebelled in a quiet, cozy fashion." link>>
01.12.17: "As I read Dragons, I too float in between . . . the beauty of closeness and the fragility of bodies." link>>
01.11.17: A review of Invisible Oligarchs by Bill Berkson, one of the last survivors of the original New York School. link>>
01.10.17: In LARB, Greg Barnhisel on new histories which detail ties between little magazines, cultural diplomacy, and spycraft. link>>
01.09.17: Consider sociotechnical imaginaries, in this review of Dreamscapes of Modernity. link>>
01.06.17: Spiritual colonialism? Regarding the gentle erasure of Islam from Rumi. link>>
01.05.17: Shockingly, Deseret News runs an uncritical review of a new edition of a biography of LDS founder Joseph Smith. link>>
01.04.17: "Poetic and razor sharp, Ruskovich’s Idaho is a mystery in more ways than one." link>>
01.03.17: In Mythomania: Tales of Our Times, from Apple to Isis, Peter Conrad continues Barthes' parsing of the semiotic content of the world around us. link>>
01.02.17: New book calls for the global community to understand the threats to Taiwan's self-determination. link>>
12.30.16: Weighing productivity tips and success bias in Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. link>>
12.29.16: Scholar Emer O'Sullivan "brilliantly re-creates the Victorian wit" of Oscar Wilde in his era and family context. link>>
12.28.16: Doctorow's latest novel "offers meticulous worldbuilding and philosophizing" about a plausible near future. link>>
12.27.16: Returning once more to an out-of-the-way Canadian village for the 12th foray with Chief Inspector Gamache. link>>
12.26.16: The Stone of Giza bonds boys' adventure plot with philosophical narrative along the lines of Voltaire's Candide. link>>
12.23.16: The Golden Legend, by Pakistan-born Nadeem Aslam, "compellingly portrays a country in chaos and individual lives clinging together in freefall." link>>
12.22.16: Peter Gordon on Jack Weatherford's study of religious freedom and Mongols. link>>
12.21.16: Fouad Laroui's new stories describe a world "where everything is foreign." link>>
Excerpts, Features
and Interviews
03.20.17: “The stories of your kindness did not match/ this grizzled countenance”; a poem in memory of Derek Walcott. link>>
03.17.17: "I worked for many years in a state of nearly total obscurity"; Miłosz interviewed in 1994. link>>
03.16.17: Human rights fellow Diana Kearney on the electoral college—the noose strangling American democracy. link>>
03.15.17: John Keats or Bob Dylan? Twenty years later, value judgments still matter. link>>
03.14.17: A roundtable discussion of gender, race and generational groups, at Wellelsey's Women's Review of Books. link>>
03.13.17: "River Blindness" by Stacy Hardy, from a volume of experimental writing between Africa and Latin America. link>>
03.10.17: Akoss Ofori-mensah notes improvements in West Africa's book industry. link>>
03.09.17: Hooman Majd talks with The Moment podcast about his "evolving experience" as an Iranian-American author. link>>
03.08.17: Ratik Asolkan talks with Eliot Weinberger over coffee in the West Village. link>>
03.07.17: "The interest in truth is hardly perennial or automatic"; Manfred Weidhorn unpacks some lines by W. B. Yeats. link>>
03.06.17: Tens of thousands of hand-printed books were sent from Europe to the New World in the Spanish colonial era. link>>
03.03.17: Must we wait until Barakat wins the Nobel Prize to see his work in English? link>>
03.02.17: American expat Melanie Wallace talks about writing strong characters, life in Greece. link>>
03.01.17: An interview with Michael Finkel, whose new book relates the tale of Maine's North Pond hermit. link>>
02.28.17: An interview with the author of Apology of a Girl Who Is Told She Is Going to Hell. link>>
02.27.17: Sana Krasikov's alarmingly prescient debut novel follows three generations of a Jewish family between the United States and Russia. link>>
02.24.17: NH poet Ewa Chrusciel talks with NHPR about language and immigration. link>>
02.23.17: Fiammetta Rocco with a brief on the new wave of killer young African novelists. link>>
02.22.17: Roxane Gay explains how Simon & Schuster did not finally "do the right thing." link>>
02.21.17: Terry Gross talks with Sebastian Barry about Days Without End, the use of family tales, and the elision of gay relationships in history. link>>
02.20.17: Ben H. Winters imagines a plausible dystopia in 2020, inaugurating Slate's Trump Story Project. link>>
02.17.17: "Exile is so strong within me, I may bring it to the land;" a 1996 Interview with Mahmoud Darwish. link>>
02.16.17: Novelists Ausma Zehanat Khan and Monia Mazigh talk about feminism, Islam and civil liberties. link>>
02.15.17: Sacred Matters interviews the author of Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction. link>>
02.14.17: Experts weigh in on the cross-pollinations among poetry, po-biz, and advertising. link>>
02.13.17: From the first issue of The Charles River Journal, a short story by Elinor Reed hitherto unavailable online. link>>
02.10.17: Rita Banerjee and Erik Kennedy reminisce about New Jersey lit mags and their personal history as writers. link>>
02.09.17: A short story by Kei Miller at Under the Saltire Flag, his blog about Scotland, Jamaica, and the books he writes. link>>
02.08.17: Close to home, we relished this walking audio tour of Harvard's literary past. link>>
02.07.17: WIRoBooks stringer Y. S. Fing considers the genius of Luís Vaz de Camoes. link>>
02.06.17: Sydney poet Paul Scully talks about his latest book. link>>
02.03.17: ABAA member James Goldwasser tells how he got his start in the book trade. link>>
02.02.17: Michael Anania explains how SUNY-Buffalo became a Mecca of American poetry. link>>
02.01.17: "Wondering what, exactly, a micro-press is? Don’t worry – you’re not alone." link>>
01.31.17: Four poems by Lee Yuk Sa, translated from Korean by Sekyo Nam Haines. link>>
01.30.17: David Vaughan of Czech Books remembers the life and work of Ewald Osers. link>>
01.27.17: An essay tribute to the groundbreaking novelist Buchi Emetcheta, 1944-2017. link>>
01.26.17: A profile of This Wide Night, a retelling of Little Women set in 1970s Pakistan. link>>
01.25.17: Of African socialism, and Shakespeare in Swaziland. link>>
01.24.17: An interview with the editor of the new doorstop, The Lost Journalism of Ring Lardner. link>>
01.23.17: Grub Street's Daniel Suarez on political fiction in the age of Trump. link>>
01.20.17: An excerpt from A Casualty of Power, courtesy of the African Books Collective. link>>
01.19.17: Seth Abramson is the poet-critic connecting the dots among the undemocratic actors behind Trump's election. link>>
01.18.17: This short story from the Modern War Institute depicts the confrontation between Russia and Europe, were the US to weaken ties with NATO. link>>
01.17.17: A chat with the authors of The Last Pow-Wow, whose characters meet in a tipi 200' tall to decide the fate of Earth. link>>
01.16.17: The Review Review asks editors to explain how a Trump presidency impacts them. link>>
01.13.17: Will Firth on the tactics of translating a flowery story from Macedonian into English. link>>
01.12.17: In episode 102 of Slate's Lexicon Valley podcast, Mark Seidenberg discusses when and why we stopped teaching children how to read. link>>
01.11.17: The Dire Reader series turns sixteen; sweet. Let's look back, to a 2010 interview. link>>
01.10.17: A fascinating video nterview with Irish poet Katie Donovan in the latest Attic Sessions episode. link>>
01.09.17: Glenn Greenwald on our complicity in the censorship of Muslims with opinions. link>>
01.06.17: HuffPo exposé of sordid truth behind poetry questions on standard tests, shallow reality of the intentional fallacy. link>>
01.05.17: Susan Harris lays out the role of literary translation in a post-Trump world. link>>
01.04.17: The Rumpus talks with Roxane Gay, triple threat novelist, essayist, and comics writer. link>>
01.03.17: A brief Q&A with translator Valerie Henitiuk regarding her recent work on an anthology of stories by Odia women writers. link>>
01.02.17: Jon Maniscalco talks about Boston crime writing with Quincy-born screenwriter and author, Chuck Maclean. link>>
12.30.16: "I have learnt to learn"; a New Year's essay by writer Chukwuebuka Ibeh. link>>
12.29.16: How Fantagraphics Books taught lit culture to take graphic novels seriously. link>>
12.28.16: Jacob Brogan talks with Kenneth Goldsmith about 20 weird years of UbuWeb. link>>
12.27.16: Examining the growing irreverence, in these last weeks of 2016, toward literary deities Soyinka and Achebe. link>>
12.26.16: Interviewing the owners and managers of New York's Book Culture. link>>
12.23.16: Charming and erudite letters from Guy Davenport, in Literary Imagination. link>>
12.22.16: Interview with the author of Interview with the Vampire, 40 years and a dozen books later. link>>
12.21.16: Before the year ends, be sure to read Stallings on why we bother with poetry. "I worry about journalism. I don’t worry about Poetry." link>>
New Books and
Literary News
03.20.17: Jon Baskin connects Trump's academic defenders and the conservative Claremont Review of Books. link>>
03.17.17: Cory Doctorow unveils his new author-friendly platform for fair trade e-books, named Shut Up and Take My Money. link>>
03.16.17: Brexit, gun control and one feminist sci-fi novel on the 2017 Orwell Prize longlist. link>>
03.15.17: A bicentenary exhibition and conference for Austen’s unfinished Sanditon. link>>
03.14.17: Brexit-related uncertainty in the air at the London Book Fair. link>>
03.13.17: "Language is what makes us all human." Mosab Abu Toha is crowd-funding Gaza's first English library. link>>
03.10.17: Submissions open! Stony Brook Short Fiction Prize for undergrads—$1,000 prize, May 25th deadline. link>>
03.09.17: Fordham University to host spring conference to examine the future of the Catholic literary imagination. link>>
03.08.17: New two-vol edition from Masterworks of Punjabi Sufi Poetry aims to bring verse of Bulleh Shah within reach. link>>
03.07.17: The Irish Times names nominees for their Emerging Poetry, First Fiction and Emerging Fiction prizes. link>>
03.06.17: The New Yorker wants to inject poetry into your daily digital reading habits. link>>
03.03.17: Roxanne Gay to judge nonfiction prize for lit mag Cosmonauts Avenue. link>>
03.02.17: Issue #68 of Plume Poetry is now live, with a tribute to Tom Lux from his long-time friend Chard deNiord. link>>
03.01.17: Discussing women's narratives—context, culture and history—at a Jaipur Lit Fest pop-up event in Melbourne. link>>
02.28.17: In verses, quips and curses, 34 poets of color summarize 2017 thus far. link>>
02.27.17: Thanks to Open Culture, readers can download all 239 issues of the landmark UK feminist magazine Spare Rib. link>>
02.24.17: Dive into Public Pool's round-up of new poetry titles, including books from José Luís Peixoto, Amy Schreibman Walter, and Alain Ginsberg. link>>
02.23.17: The new issue of No Man's Land features German-language writers in English translation, including Esther Dischereit, Günter Kunert, and Saskia Trebing. link>>
02.22.17: Grad student fingers Walt Whitman as author of anonymous novel published as newspaper serial in 1852. link>>
02.21.17: When Kwame Dawes couldn’t find a press devoted to publishing African poetry, he created one. link>>
02.20.17: An organizer with the Movement for Black Lives is part of the team behind a new book subscription service delivering voices of Black experience. link>>
02.17.17: "Joyce Carol Oates' new novel begins with an abortion doctor's murder." Sad! link>>
02.16.17: Heat Street columnist looks at options for political novelists tackling Trump. link>>
02.15.17: Novel by Turkish reporter tells first-hand stories about the Syrian war, based on six years of coverage. link>>
02.14.17: ProQuest to give free database access to researchers impacted by immigration and travel bans. link>>
02.13.17: Trinity College students learn about rare book trade by participating in auction. link>>
02.10.17: Wikipedia, defending against fake news, declares The Daily Mail "unreliable." link>>
02.09.17: The Baffler, gearing up to address the ongoing Trumpism, adds new columnists. link>>
02.08.17: "Sensitivity readers" introduce a new step in the book publishing process. link>>
02.07.17: PEN America announces recipients of the 2017 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants. link>>
02.06.17: Banipal, eminent journal of Arabic literature in translation, puts its full archive online. link>>
02.03.17: Thieves target warehouse near Heathrow to steal 160+ rare books destined for Oakland bookfair. link>>
02.02.17: Jacobin, Haymarket Books and Verso collaborate to offer free e-book of speeches from The Anti-Inauguration. link>>
02.01.17: Why are there not more translations of Arabic literature in German publishing? link>>
01.31.17: New divan collects the poems of Persian modernist pioneer Akhavan-Saless. link>>
01.30.17: At Urdu Literary Fest, Raza Rabbani claims govt. is strangling lit culture to make room for greater intolerance. link>>
01.27.17: Roxane Gay cancels Simon & Schuster contract to protest Yiannopoulos book. link>>
01.26.17: Penguin printing more copies of 1984 due to recent surge in demand. link>>
01.25.17: Bestseller At the Existentialist Café now available in Persian translation. link>>
01.24.17: The campus magazine Bateau is brought back to life at the College of the Atlantic. link>>
01.23.17: Discussing the dearth of translations from Indonesia, at the Ubud Writers Festival. link>>
01.20.17: Rita Dove on the inauguration, Writers Resist, and recommended reading for an incoming POTUS. link>>
01.19.17: Not the first author to see little pink elephants! Martin Suter's new thriller is about genetic engineering. link>>
01.18.17: Mo Yan is working on his first new novel since winning Nobel Prize. link>>
01.17.17: The BBC presents excerpts from the new Phaidon book of Steve McCurry's photos of readers around the world. link>>
01.16.17: Sharp uptick in sales of graphic novel about civil rights hero John Lewis. link>>
01.13.17: In view of MLK Day and Writers Resist, the JSTOR editors focus on literature as resistance for their Friday Reads post. link>>
01.12.17: This weekend in Boston, New York, and dozens of other cities, writers rally in support of stronger democracy. link>>
01.11.17: Here comes the farce flood! Publishing rights for satiric Spanish graphic novel on Trump sold to French publisher. link>>
01.10.17: A report filed from the second-hand book stalls at the Vijayawada Book Festival. link>>
01.09.17: Has Project Dustbunny resolved once and for all the identity of Shakespeare? link>>
01.06.17: The release of the first anthology to emerge from the #WeNeedDiverseBooks social media campaign. link>>
01.05.17: Kickstarter-funded anthology brings together Latino sci-fi stories. link>>
01.04.17: New edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf is a 2016 best-seller in Germany. link>>
01.03.17: We mourn the passing of Mark Schorr, a poet, father, husband, mentor, friend. link>>
01.02.17: Cory Doctorow on the Florida librarians who created fake patrons to "check-out" books, averting deaccession. link>>
12.30.16: Boston publisher Black Ocean opens in meatspace. link>>
12.29.16: The "beautiful revival" of the French live literature venue, la Maison de la Poésie. link>>
12.28.16: RIP Anthony Cronin, Irish poet, novelist, biographer, and cultural commentator. link>>
12.27.16: Counterculture before its time? A brief history of The 120 Days of Sodom. link>>
12.26.16: Red Pill pusher Milo Yiannopoulos signs book deal with Simon & Schuster imprint. link>>
12.23.16: Entries are now open for the 2017 Australian Book Review Calibre Prize. link>>
12.22.16: A report from the Migrant Workers Poetry Competition in Singapore. link>>
12.21.16: Like holiday lore? Meet Mari Lwyd, a horse skull that visits your home for Christmas, that you battle with poetry. link>>

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