Our annual winter support keeps the Rail independent, relevant, and free
Over the past decade, in our finer quarterlies, few names have turned up more often than Jacob M. Appel. You also found him among the finalists for awards in the short storyand among the prize-winners. I myself once floundered in Appels wake, merely a finalist while he was the finalist.
Like Gertrude Steins The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Belgian-born conceptual artist Filip Noterdaemes The Autobiography of Daniel J. Isengart combines reflections on art with anecdotes about artistssome serious, some not.
A curriculum vitae-style list of Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore's many dazzling accomplishments gives you some sense of who she is as a writer, thinker, and queer anti-assimilationist activist.
The Last Days of California follows the family of 15-year-old Jess as they leave their home in the South to drive to California to await the rapture prophesied to come in just four days. This is a coming of age story hurried into the last gasp before a supposedly coming end, with Millers sharp prose moving us fast across our apocalypse-obsessed country, this roadside America of faith and faithlessness, angst and love, rest stops and hotel pools and Waffle House.
Its totally fair to greet any new book about the Beatles with the SNL-ish derisive question: really? What could possibly be left to pick at on those ghostbones?
Maybe you know about Kevin Barry because you were one of the lucky ones who read his City of Bohane (Graywolf, 2012), either before or after it was shortlisted for the Costa and then when it won the IMPAC Dublin Literary award. Maybe you found him, as I did, by reading his story Fjord of Killary when it was published in early 2010 in the New Yorkerremember, that weird story with the steadily insistent writing about the guy who bought a hotel and ran a bar and, in the story, theres a flood coming? Remember?
Die Zeit, a weekly national German newspaper, describes Adam Bodors new novel, The Sinistra Zone, as linking intense realism with a boundless imagination, this fascinating novel could have been written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. True, The Sinistra Zone fuses what seems real with what seems fantastic, demanding its magic realism sticker and thus practically begging for the Marquez comparison.
I once worked in a bookstore and this large soft, new-age guyLennon-ish spectacles, long hair, deep interest in eastern philosophies and martial arts/practices, tea instead of coffeewas just enough off that I couldnt like him. One night he was doing stock work in the basement, and, the next day, we discovered that, along with stocking, hed scrawled Collins poems on large sheets of paper and taped them all around. They stayed hanging up the rest of the time I worked at the bookstore, neither offensive nor in-enough to matter. They were mental furniture.
Carmen Giménez Smiths fourth full-length book of poems, Milk & Filth, explicitly positions itself as part of the third-wave feminist project commonly called The Gurlesque, and my reading of her book is, in part, a reading of that broader project.
When you talk to Rosie Perez over the phone, as I did for this interview, you can feel her in pensive thought. The pint-sized Brooklyn natives personality is large and generous, her voice infused with that trademark accent. And the familiarity of that voice lent a casual friendliness to our conversation.
On welcoming a first complete English-language translation of Giacomo Leopardis Zibaldone, a 2,500-page philological, philosophical, literary notebook, we find a writer whose intellectual life was among the most comprehensive and assiduously developed in all modern history, whose wide-ranging appetite for knowledge and self-understanding was matched only by his breathtaking perspicacity and his tireless devotion to study.
In The Parrots, Filippo Bologna has managed to construct a vessel whose biting satire is so perfectly ballasted by empathyif not compassionthat it tacks between high literary majesty and good hard slapstick without ever capsizing.
Rarefied victory in the N.F.L. incarnates as the glorious Vince Lombardi trophy: an ugly metallic regulation-sized football fused to a stylized, oversized football tee. Bestowed to the annual winner of the Super Bowl, it is the stuff of countless football dreams. And countless football nightmares.
In his redoubtable essay Tradition and the Individual Talent, T. S. Eliot wrote, No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. I wonder how Eliot might have assessed the work of David Lehman, a poet whose recently published New and Selected Poems demonstrates time and again that ones ongoing engagement with poets dead or alive need not mask personality or stifle innovation.
A bad experience with the police lingers in the mind, whether the cop is friendly and professionalas many had been when they detained me numerous times over a six-month period in the early 2000s when I moved a car on street cleaning days in Harlemor rude and unprofessional.