FICTION: It Was Better Not to Be Born at AllBy Cole Larsen
In her first novel, Living Room, Rachel Sherman singles out the most repulsive of her characters experiences: diarrhea, oral sex on a flaccid old penis, suicide flashbacks, screaming matches, and alcohol poisoning. These are experiences which could mark a book as gritty or realistic, but because the characters living them feel unexplored, the ugliness reads as false and gratuitous.
TOKENSBy Charles Bernstein, Caroline Seklir, Paul Charles Griffin, Raina Lipsitz, and Cole Larsen
While Greg Amess novel, Buffalo Lockjaw, contains all the elements of a classic Buffalo storysnow, sports, drinking, despairAmes has created a narrator, James Fitzroy, who rises above caricature.