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Review: Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar

cawaw-687x1029Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar (Alice James Books, 2017)

Reviewed by Rebecca Valley

I saw Kaveh Akbar read last month under a white tent lit with string lights in Emily Dickinson’s garden. The garden, of course, was not as tranquil as it had been when Emily sat there. Akbar read over a hum of street traffic and chatting pedestrians. At moments, though, it was quiet. Akbar read elegy after elegy – for lost language and lost friends, for a version of himself that drank more and hurt more – and I thought of Emily. “One need not be a chamber to be haunted, / One need not be a house…” Continue reading “Review: Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar”

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Recommended Reading: 2017 National Book Award Nominees

by Rebecca Valley

In anticipation of the short-list announcement tomorrow, the staff here at Drizzle have compiled a list of our favorite and most-anticipated National Book Award nominees, announced by the National Book Foundation in mid-September.

You can check out the full list here. Winners will be announced in a ceremony on November 15th — which gives you plenty of time to start reading! Continue reading “Recommended Reading: 2017 National Book Award Nominees”

Review: The Voice of That Singing by Juliet Rodeman

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The Voice of That Singing by Juliet Rodeman (Tupelo Press, 2017)

Reviewed by Michelle Mitchell-Foust

Early in Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Mirror, a child watches the family barn burning behind their country house. It’s raining. His young mother watches too, her back to the camera, the water dripping off the porch awning. Still the barn burns. No urgency, as though a barn burning is a natural part of the landscape. Over the course of the film, in every room of the country house, the watcher has the feeling that the child, the narrator—Tarkovsky’s voice reciting his father’s poems–is living at once every age of his life. Continue reading “Review: The Voice of That Singing by Juliet Rodeman”

Review: Park Bench by Christophe Chaboute

park-bench-9781501154027_lgPark Bench by Christophe Chaboute (Gallery 13, 2017)

Reviewed by Rebecca Valley

In April, I visited Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Los Angeles with my mother. It was an impulse decision – it was hot, Madame Tussaud’s was air-conditioned, and deep down my mother and I are both too vain to resist a good photo shoot. We wandered past eerily life-like figures of Snoop Dogg and Betty White into a gallery of movie sets, where I found the thing I didn’t know I was looking for – a young Tom Hanks in a khaki suit, back straight and feet slightly pigeon-toed, seated on a half-empty park bench. Continue reading “Review: Park Bench by Christophe Chaboute”

Editor’s Note: Our First Year

At the beginning of August, Drizzle celebrated its first birthday — one year of reading, of writing, of cultivating this beautiful community of people with a passion for witnessing and promoting books that reflect the widest possible scope of human experience. Continue reading “Editor’s Note: Our First Year”

Review: Tell Me How it Ends by Valeria Luiselli

tell me howTell Me How it Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli (Coffee House Press, 2017)

Reviewed by Rebecca Valley

In Tell Me How it Ends, novelist Valeria Luiselli sheds the cloak of fiction to write a different kind of narrative – one that, as the author’s daughter discovers, doesn’t have a neat ending. The book tackles Luiselli’s experience volunteering at an immigration court in New York City, where she translated the answers migrant children gave to the questions that stood between a return to their home country and the promise of a new life in the United States. Continue reading “Review: Tell Me How it Ends by Valeria Luiselli”

Droplet: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

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Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (Viking, 2011)

Reviewed by Rebecca Valley

I didn’t realize until I read Nnedi Okorafor’s young adult fantasy book Akata Witch that my experience reading fantasy didn’t just trend toward the western world – it existed solely inside that world. Continue reading “Droplet: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor”