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- By Ellie Eberlee

A Review of Whale by Cheon Myeong-kwan, Translated from Korean by Chi-Young Kim (Archipelago Books, 2023)

“Stories,” writes Cheon Myeong-kwan near the end of his lush and sprawling Whale, “are an exploration into a life filled with injustice.” Translated from the original Korean by Chi-Young Kim and shortlisted for the 2023 International Booker Prize, Myeong-kwan’s second novel explores the unjust life of Chunhui, a 27-year-old-woman nine days out of prison for arson and mass murder she may or may not have committed.

The novel’s prologue returns Chunhui to her family’s previously thriving, now deserted brickyard...


The Road Towards Home

- By Helen McColpin

The Road Towards Home, a new novel by Corinne Demas, is just in time for beach reads and languid summer days. This novel, largely set on Cape Cod, is a breezy read with a literary bent, ideal for throwing in a beach bag. Demas is a prolific writer and while she has written many novels for children and young adults, this novel focuses on the trials and joys of aging, following Noah, a prickly retired English professor, and vivacious entomologist Cassandra in their problematic retirement community.

Cassandra, with her giant Newfoundland, Melville, and various insect pets, finds that without her children or husband (of which...


Intimate Love and Tremulous Loss

- By Elisa Rowe

A Review of Standing in the Forest of Being Alive by Katie Farris. (Alice James Books, 2023)

Why write love poetry in a burning world?
To train myself in the midst of a burning world
to offer poems of love to a burning world.
   —Katie Farris, “Why Write Love Poetry in a Burning World”

In the face of medical vulnerabilities and the march of sudden illness, Standing in the Forest of Being Alive (Katie Farris’ full-length debut) embraces grief and wit, counters beauty with cruelty, and pairs eroticism with nostalgia. Farris is a poet, translator, fiction writer, and...


With My Shadow

- By Vika Mujumdar

A Review of With My Shadow: A Bilingual Selection by Hilde Domin. Translated by Sarah Kafatou. (Paul Dry Books, 2023.)

Mary Ruefle writes in Madness, Rack, and Honey: “You might say a poem is a living semicolon, what connects the first line to the last, the act of keeping together that whose nature is to fly apart” (4). I read Madness, Rack, and Honey right before Hilde Domin’s With My Shadow, and I found my experience of reading Domin so much richer for having read Ruefle. I find Ruefle’s framing of the poem here particularly compelling, especially in relation to the exilic poet; each of Domin’...


Limericks for Saint Patrick’s Day

- By Marsha Bryant



It might take years
To win your heart.
To grab a beer
Would be a start.
--Paul Muldoon

‘Twas in Limerick, Ireland, was born
This rollicking, frolicsome form
That refuses the haughty
(But relishes naughty)
In light, triple rhythms adorned.

On St. Patrick’s Day, let’s turn to Ale
With a triply delicious regal-
ing of tasty dark brews
I’ve selected for you
For this alcoholiday we hail.


Go and taste for the thirst time this classic.
The Extra Stout Guinness is basic:
For its foam, roasted malt,
And its hops hath no fault.

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