Tagged FSG

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…

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,…

Sunday Staff Picks: February 23rd

The Gilded Auction Block by Shane McCrae Addressing America, Shane McCrae’s speaker in “Everything I Know About Blackness I Learned from Donald Trump” says “even in my dreams I’m in your dreams.” McCrae’s The Gilded Auction Block turns America and the American dream inside out, and in doing so creates a surreal logic—a fractured but incisive way of looking at contemporary America. Although the epigraphs are often quotes from the current political moment, the book undergoes a traditional narrative of katabasis when the speaker descends into Hell to confront a Trumpian figure (among other demons). McCrae’s attention to enjambment, rhythm,…

Sunday Staff Picks: February 9th

Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener Everyone who’s worked in publishing has had the same dream: flee New York, join a tech company, and make barrels more money in an office filled with top-of-the-line snacks and California sunshine. Anna Wiener carries out the dream and chronicles how it dips into the nightmarish in her memoir, Uncanny…

Sunday Staff Picks: November 17th

A Prayer for Travelers by Ruchika Tomar A Prayer for Travelers is an intense and intricate debut novel by Ruchika Tomar. Set in the dusty nowhere towns along the California-Nevada border, the novel follows protagonist Cale Lambert as she tracks her disappeared friend, Penny Reyes, following a shocking assault in the desert. At home, Cale’s…

A Phoenix from the Ashes: Myth and Memorial in Sara Stridsberg’s Valerie

Valerie, or The Faculty of Dreams: A Novel / Sara Stridsberg, trans. by Deborah Bragan-Turner / FSG, 08/2019 – $27 (Hardcover) Valerie Solanas’s Wikipedia page begins:  “Valerie Jean Solanas (April 9, 1936 – April 25, 1988) was an American radical feminist and author best known for writing the SCUM Manifesto, which she self-published in 1967, and attempting to murder Andy Warhol in 1968.” It…

Sunday Staff Picks: October 27th

SoundMachine by Rachel Zucker In her elegiac poem “Rough Waters,” Rachel Zucker asks: “What story is this? / What animal am I?” These two questions and all that they carry – ideas of form, displacement, incongruity, language, and instinct – run throughout SoundMachine, Zucker’s collection of genre-bending poems. Whether speaking about motherhood, grief, or poetry,…

Sunday Staff Picks: October 13th

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong It is a pleasure to read a sentence that makes language new; it is a revelation to read a book full of such sentences. Ocean Vuong’s debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous creates a language of longing. The novel is framed as a letter from the…

Sunday Staff Picks: October 6th

Dunce by Mary Ruefle Mary Ruefle’s Dunce examines “the museum of / everyday life.” Throughout the book, Ruefle narrows her poetic gaze on the subjects and objects of the quotidian, and in turns unexpected, deeply funny, and wildly lyrical, exposes the ostensibly dulled or hidden mysteries that lie within. I am most enraptured by the earnest and insistent belief in language’s efficacy that Ruefle’s speaker marvels of throughout. In “Super Bowl,” Ruefle writes of a woman overheard on a plane, “I felt such joy over the unknown / outcome of her words.” I too, not knowing how Ruefle’s artful line…

Sunday Staff Picks: September 15th

Stay and Fight by Madeline ffitch Trying to capture “Appalachia” is impossible, but Madeline ffitch’s Stay and Fight steers clear of the desire to capture an entire region and paints a singular portrait of rural, Appalachian Ohio with detail, complexity, and sincerity. Readers are introduced to Helen, a Seattle-bred millennial who reluctantly follows her boyfriend…