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Kempowski Sounds Out the Second World War

- By Nil Santiáñez

I am posting this blog entry on 6 August 2018. At 8:15 a.m. local time, exactly seventy-three years ago, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. This is a fact. In three days we are going to commemorate the seventy-third anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki—yet another fact. There are many other indisputable facts about the Second World War: the German invasion of Poland, the siege of Leningrad, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Allied landing in Normandy, the Warsaw uprising, the Battle of the Ardennes, and so on. And yet, in order to make sense of such facts, one must put them together within a narrative. And as soon as we attempt to do that, problems arise. The most basic of those problems could be...


Massachusetts Reviews: Girl, World

- By Katherine Keenan

Girl, World by Alex Poppe (Laughing Fire Press, 2017)

For better or for worse, “feminism” is in fashion. Spunky shirts proclaiming feminist slogans have become mass-market staples, allowing anyone (who can afford it) to “try on” feminism in a dressing room. Celebrity feminists tweet one-line proclamations to show their support of the movement—while generally directing their activism toward a palatable, majority-defined “woman”: often white, often cis-gendered, often able-bodied, often American. This sleek, whitewashed, marketable version of feminism is having its heyday while—beyond the...



- By Beth Derr

The Year 200 by Augustín de Rojas (Restless Books, 2016)

Cuban author Agustin de Rojas's The Year 200 forces American readers to grapple with their assumptions about Cuba, communism, and the human condition. The novel's Spanish publication in 1990 and English publication in 2016 line up with potentially crucial turning points in the U.S.'s perception of socialist societies. While technically the conclusion of a trilogy, Nick Caistor and Hebe Powell's English translation of The Year 200 stands on its own as a mindbending challenge to economic and philosophical ideologies.


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