Litstack Rec: Bridge & The Stargazer’s Sister

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Bridge, by Robert Thomas “Welcome to the prayer-strewn pews of my brain,” Alice, the narrator of Bridge tells us, and quickly, we understand that this intellectually gifted young woman sees the world, and herself, in unconventional, and often dangerous ways. Robert Thomas’s powerful debut novel (BOA Editions 2014) takes place in fifty-six brief chapters that [….]

LitStack Review: Mecha Samurai Empire by Peter Tieryas

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Mecha Samurai Empire  Peter Tieryas Ace/Penguin Random House Release Date: September 18, 2018 (USA) ISBN 9780451490995 Mac is a teenager living in Los Angeles in 1994 whose greatest desire is to become a pilot. But his test grades are mediocre, he’s not in the best of shape, and he’s a foster kid, so there’s no [….]

LitStack Rec: Little Failure & United States of Japan

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Little Failure: A Memoir, by Gary Shteyngart “In order for me to be born,” Gary Shteyngart says early on in his memoir, “all four branches of my family have to end up in Leningrad, trading in their tiny towns and villages for that somber, canal-laced cityscape. Here’s how it happens.” Voice, more than anything, can [….]

LitStack Rec: Cutting Teeth & Wait Till Next Year

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Cutting Teeth, by Julia Fierro When my daughter was little, there was a sentiment among the parents I knew. We referred to  summer as the busy season, when the steady routine of the school year fell away and the schedule went overtime. Still, when your kids are small, there’s a lovely innocence to summer—its sprinklers [….]

LitStack Rec: Arranged Marriage: Stories & This Case Is Gonna Kill Me

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Arranged Marriage: Stories, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Acclaimed poet, novelist, and story writer Chitra Banerjee Divrakaruni’s first book of fiction was published in 1995, and the eleven stories in Arranged Marriage established her as a master of imagery in the short form. They also demonstrated her gift for chronicling female cultural dislocation, and the compound [….]

LitStack Recs: Life Drawing & Viva Frida

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Life Drawing, by Robin Black “Nobody outside a marriage can understand it,” the narrator of Life Drawing tells us. Augusta Edelman is a painter, married to Owen, a writer, and they have moved to the Pennsylvania countryside to live in the quiet and pursue their work. The Edelmans have been together for over two decades, [….]

LitStack Recs: Speedbumps & The Human Division

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Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood, by Teri Garr Think of Teri Garr, the legendary actress turns 70 on December 11, and likely it’s as the outspoken girl next door, the slightly off-kilter girlfriend, wife, or mother—characters she played in Tootsie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Young Frankenstein. Even when Garr is playing it [….]

LitStack Rec: Commonwealth & All the Birds in the Sky

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Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett Of divorce, Nicole Krauss wrote, “One of us held on to the ambition of the one idea far longer than was reasonable, whereas the other, passing a garbage can one night, had casually thrown it away.” That’s how ending a marriage can feel, especially for the spouse who’s left behind, an [….]

Celebrating the Mighty Wonder Woman

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Wonder Woman Unbound – The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine Tim Hanley Chicago Review Press Release Date:  April 1, 2014 ISBN 978-1613749098 College level English classes are one my daughter’s least favorite scholastic experience, but I love ’em, because I get to play research assistant for her papers.  She learns organization, thesis [….]

LitStack Recs: Passage to Ararat & War for the Oaks

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Passage to Ararat, by Michael J. Arlen “It’s a dangerous business,” writes Clark Blaise in this book’s introduction, “going into the underworld of history and ethnicity to discover one’s father, yet it seems one peculiar duty in our time of identity politics.” The observation is an apt one in which to begin Michael J. Arlen’s [….]