Finding What is Lost in C. J. Tudor’s The Other People

The Other People / C J Tudor / Ballantine, 01/20 – $27 (Hardcover) There is something relentlessly engrossing about a mystery. The suspense, the shock, and finally the catharsis when all the pieces come together create a reading gripping experience that cannot be found elsewhere. The Other People, the most recent novel from C. J.…

Sunday Staff Picks: April 19th

Sh*t is F*cked Up and Bullsh*t by Malcolm Harris I picked up Sh*t is F*cked Up and Bullsh*t for fairly obvious reasons. Released less than two months ago — let’s call it the Before Times — Marxist journalist Malcom Harris walks readers through the past decade here in America. It’s not a pretty picture. Beginning…

Apocalypse Now: Reading Severance in the Time of Coronavirus

Severance / Ling Ma / Picador, 05/2019 – $17 (Paperback) The routine has become automatic. In the mornings I stand bleary-eyed at the counter and wait for the kettle’s wail. I look at emails for work or articles for class or ads for eco-friendly activewear. It doesn’t matter. There are classes in the afternoon, and…

Sunday Staff Picks: April 5th

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry Quan Barry’s latest novel, set in a Massachusetts coastal town, delivers witches, field hockey, and late 1980s cultural references, all in Barry’s distinctive, irreverent tone. After the team makes a deal with the Devil, in the form of an Emilio Estevez notebook, the Danvers field hockey team inexplicably begins winning game after game, landing them at the state finals. Despite the normal pressures of high school—sexual awakenings and creepy teachers as only the beginning—the girls truly dedicate themselves to bonding as a team. Perhaps dark powers propel them to field hockey stardom,or perhaps…

Landscape from a Train by Anja Chivukula

Red, all the olive fields were limned with ruddy gold, laden branches sprouting furrows, tangled boughs that carved them- selves in gaps between the morning, havens painted into crossties, stopgap limbs to pave  anew the solar path. In patchwork shreds, the silences sat struck, and some- thing spoke   that could have been a person …

Arcana, Alive: Anne Serre’s The Fool

The Fool and Other Moral Tales / Anne Serre, trans. by Mark Hutchinson / New Directions, 09/19 – $15 (Paperback) Repulsive, violent, confounding: that’s how I would best describe Anne Serre’s newly translated collection of short stories, The Fool. Yet Serre performs a wild alchemy within the tight confines of the three fabulous tales collected…

Prompts for Quarantine

In response to the quarantine, The Columbia Review editorial board will share every other day a series of prompts, which we hope will inspire our readers. 1. Think about space. Think about the space that separates you from the computer, the space that separates you from the outside world. How does the space feel that…

Sunday Staff Picks: March 29th

Staten Island Stories by Claire Jimenez In Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a group of strangers embark on a pilgrimage to Canterbury, telling stories to pass the time—but the text ends before they reach their destination. The pilgrims become connected by their narratives rather than their geography: and, because we never see the pilgrims reach Canterbury,…

Loneliness and Fiction

I woke up on a Monday with the feelings I get too often: feelings of wrongness and sadness and fear. The ones that tell me I am quite alone because such a feeling is too cruel to be human and therefore, I am the only alien on earth who can feel it at all. I…

Sunday Staff Picks: March 1st

A Sand Book by Ariana Reines Newly crowned winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the dizzying four hundred-page epic A Sand Book by Ariana Reines masterfully takes on issues of spirituality, consumerism, womanhood, and the occult. Moreover, Reines suggests these themes are conjured by the gross deterioration and obfuscation of language at the hand of the immediacy so latent in the digital economies of the contemporary West. In “A Partial History,” Reines writes of these challenging times: “We were lost in a language of images. / It was growing difficult to speak. Yet talk / Was everywhere.” In turns at…