On Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai

    Helen DeWitt’s widely-acclaimed first novel, The Last Samurai, has recently joined the many important works which have received renewed attention thanks to a re-issue by New Directions. Originally published in 2000, this essential novel from the Berlin-based writer, literary critic and thinker presents a coming-of-age story that relies […]

Bodies in time and space: A review of Keegan Lester’s this shouldn’t be beautiful but it was & it was all i had so i drew it

  On two occasions I have observed the sea luminous at considerable depths beneath the surface.           –Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle     No reader of Darwin’s masterworks The Origin of Species and The Voyage of the Beagle can fail to notice the […]

The Many Terrors of Scott Spanbauer’s The Grill

Scott Spanbauer’s The Grill is a translation of Adolfo Pardo’s La parrilla (1981), an unnerving depiction of state-sponsored terror in Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). Named after “the grill,” a torture device that uses electricity to force confessions from its victims, the story serves as a counter-narrative […]

Chorus and Cacophony: On the Things We Inherit by Ginger Ko

Ginger Ko’s new collection, Inherit, is, as the name professes, a gathering and rendering of inheritances. The poems comprise an intergenerational compilation of voices speaking to a multitude of experiences, thoughts, curses and blessings handed down over years and through bloodlines. This multiplicity of voices urges the speakers of the […]

Lost and Found in Translation: The Lovers’ Phrasebook, poems by Jordi Alonso & illustrations by Phoebe Carter

A busy antique store is nestled less than two blocks from my house, attracting dozens of elderly visitors every day, especially on Sundays. People seeking antique tools, silver, teapots, remembered artifacts. But I walk over for the postcards. In front of the cash register, four boxes of densely packed postcards, […]