Modern America in 1990s South Africa

In this month’s issue of Numéro Cinq, I talk about Ingrid Winterbach’s excellent The Elusive Moth. Though recently released by Open Letter, the novel was originally published in the 1990s and focuses on a woman living in a small South African town. The timeliness of Winterbach’s overarching themes—gender disparity; corrupt, powerful police—is quite chilling, and there are moments […]

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Looking at Lipsyte

My review of Sam Lipsyte’s story collection, The Fun Parts, is titled “Laughing at Despair,” and that kind of sums up—in my mind, at least—the career of the author. He has such a gift for examining people living on the fringe, these desperate, lost souls. Yet what makes Lipsyte’s fiction so great is the fact that […]

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Stay Awake

I wrote about Dan Chaon’s latest, the short story collection Stay Awake, for Rain Taxi. My piece appears in the latest print issue, which came out last week. Chaon’s book is (spoiler alert) pretty excellent. It’s full of ghostly visions, falls from ladders, foster kids, mysterious messages, a parasitic conjoined twin head, a brain-damaged ex-husband, and, well, […]

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A distillation

My review of Tom Carson’s Daisy Buchanan’s Daughter appears in the current print issue of Rain Taxi. Plenty of folks won’t get a chance to read it, though, as they either don’t live in Rain Taxi’s distribution area or they aren’t subscribers. So I thought I’d offer up a slice of my analysis. I present to you a […]

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