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Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013
Marc Dugain's novella about a soldier wounded in WWI has probably never been more relevant than now.

Given the many American servicemen and women who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan disfigured, Marc Dugain’s The Officer’s Ward is painfully relevant in these times. Dugain has written an excellent, thought-provoking novella that will appeal to any sensitive audience, but especially to those involved with injured and mutilated veterans or in the field of disability studies.


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Friday, Jun 14, 2013
Sometimes the value of a book is far more than the price of the book.

This is the case with Peter Trachtenberg’s beautiful and disturbing The Book of Calamities, which makes greater demands on your emotional capital than on your economic capital. Trachtenberg takes the reader from Ground Zero to Rwanda, from upstate New York hospitals to New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina.


Still, if the stories—testimonies, really—that make up a great part of the book are poignant and horrifying, they are also inspiring.


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Thursday, Jun 13, 2013
Charles Yu creates a world so strange in 'Sorry. Please. Thank You. Stories.' that it just might be real.

A blurb on the jacket of Charles Yu’s short story collection Sorry. Please. Thank you. Stories. compares the young author to Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, and while I can see why Yu might call to mind Vonnegut (less so, Adams), I found myself thinking more of the French postmodernist philosopher Jean Baudrillard than either of these two science fiction writers.


Why Baudrillard?


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Tuesday, May 28, 2013
“Surrealism led to feminism and after that nothing was ever the same.”

In Wonderland: Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists was the first international exhibition of art created by female surrealists in Mexico and the United States. The exhibit was organized in 2012 by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in cohort with the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City. Its corresponding book explores the work of over 40 artists, female photographers, painters, sculptors, and multimedia artists and a filmmaker.


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Monday, Nov 12, 2012
This story takes the California dream and tears it apart, only to reassemble it into a dangerous patchwork totem, where the taboo and the sacred jostle for space.

I have a great respect for collectors. Hoarders even. There’s something reverential about taxonomies (boxes, toys, little glass dachshunds, paper clips)—a mesmeric quality to so much like with like. Like walking through a cemetery.


Memoirists are similar. Like collectors, they acknowledge that before something can be remembered it has to be dismembered, de-limbed, cut off or separated from—so as to remember—itself. It is in such a spirit of re-collection that Sea Monkeys, the new ‘memory book’ from cult novelist, Kris Saknussemm (Zanesville, Enigmatic Pilot), proceeds.


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