Book Review: ‘Borne’

Bizarre Fiction that’s Frighteningly Real – Jeff Vandermeer’s Borne “We all just want to be people, and none of us know what that really means.” – Borne I’ve read many a dystopian novel and consider the genre a favorite, something I can always and easily turn to for a good read. Though these books often…

Impractical Love: Book Review of ‘Practical Magic’

A book about magic, set in a small New England town with a late ‘90s/early 2000s vibe seemed like the perfect easy read for me. And Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman certainly had a promising start. Unfortunately the book squanders most of its potential on cliches about love, or else devolves into an abundance of…

Book Review: ‘Fates and Furies’

Lauren Groff’s 2015 novel ‘Fates and Furies’ promises a nuanced examination of marriage art, but ultimately becomes weighed down by superfluous use of metaphors and lyrical descriptions.

Book Review: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Stumbling upon Shirley Jackson’s 1962 classic We Have Always Lived in the Castle last fall I was quickly enthralled by the opening lines. The bleak setting and the disturbingly imaginative mind of protagonist Merricat had me hooked. I found myself sharing her resentment of the cruel townspeople and then equally piqued by the unsettling mystery of the…

Book Review: Tony and Susan

I had never heard of Austin Wright’s 1993 novel Tony and Susan until I saw the trailer for the Tom Ford film, Nocturnal Animals. Thoroughly intrigued by the preview, I soon discovered that Tom Ford’s most recent foray into cinema was inspired by the aforementioned novel. As I retain an irrational sense that I must…

Book Review: Palestine

In conjunction with my post on graphic novels as pedagogical tools, what follows is my review of the graphic novel Palestine by Joe Sacco, which I first read for my research paper. *** Personalizing the Occupation In an attempt to understand and convey to a wider audience the graphic realities of life under occupation, Joe Sacco’s…

Book Review: Waltz with Bashir

In conjunction with my post on graphic novels as pedagogical tools, what follows is my review of the graphic novel Waltz with Bashir, which I first read for my research paper. *** Addressing National Trauma through Personal Witnessing Waltz with Bashir, illustrated by David Polonsky, depicts writer Ari Folman’s struggle to remember the events of…

Book Review: Baddawi

In conjunction with my last post on graphic novels as pedagogical tools, what follows is my review of the graphic novel Baddawi, which I first read for my research paper. *** Leila Abdelrazaq’s Baddawi tells the story of Ahmad, a young Palestinian refugee growing up between the Baddawi refugee camp in northern Lebanon and Beirut…

The Loudness in Silence

Jesse Ball’s novel ‘Silence Once Begun” presents an interesting investigation of the lies and truths that are hidden in our silences.

In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue

Through ‘Moonlight’ Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney present a touching portrait of a young man’s struggle to come to terms with his sexuality and identity.

Watching the Fireflies Dance into Oblivion

Review: Grave of the Fireflies (Film) After the American firebombing of Kobe, the village home to our protagonists, siblings Seita and Setsuko initially take refuge with relatives before setting out on their own to look after themselves in the countryside of wartime Japan. In the wake of the initial firebombing, teenaged Seita and young Setsuko find their mother…