New York Times Book Review // Feast Days by Ian MacKenzie

May 18, 2018

My review of Ian MacKenzie’s novel Feast Days ran in the New York Times Book Review on Sunday May 8. In wrote, in part:

“In 1995, an American newspaper editor in Budapest told me I could differentiate between economic migrants and expatriates by the kinds of parties they — or, more correctly, we — attended. That obnoxious comment came back to me while reading ‘Feast Days.’ The willful us-versus-them otherness in which these Americans participate threatens to blind them to the shared humanity that binds banker and revolutionary, policeman and protester. MacKenzie makes clear what Emma might not always see: that her life stands in stark contrast to those of both newly arrived Haitians and impoverished Brazilians. Expatriate novels often reveal far more about their characters’ homelands than they do about their presumably exotic destinations. ‘Feast Days’ does likewise.”

The entire review is here.

Tin House // Interview with Tayari Jones

January 18, 2018

My interview with my friend former grad school teacher Tayari Jones is online at Tin House.

“I started thinking about other novels by women that questioned the idea that women’s first (and only) priority is to be a good wife and mother. These novels were primarily by white women. They just get tired of being domesticated and go do something else. Trigger the applause.”


New York Times Book Review // Disasters in the First World by Olivia Clare

July 28, 2017

I reviewed Olivia Clare’s debut story collection Disasters in the First World for the New York Times Book Review.

“The best of the 13 stories in Olivia Clare’s debut collection flout convention and work in mysterious ways. Two in particular — “Pétur” and “The Visigoths” — will probably be anthologized and taught and cherished for years to come.”