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Murder Is Most Factorial in 'Eighth Detective'

Mathematician Alex Pavesi's debut novel, The Eighth Detective, posits mathematical rules defining 'detective fiction'.

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Ottessa Moshfegh's 'Death in Her Hands' Is Not What It Seems

A character named Magda dies, and lives, in language only in Ottessa Moshfegh's Death in Her Hands. But then again, don't all literary characters?

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Kent Russell Seeks the Soul of Florida on Epic Road Trip, on Foot

In a bit of drunken revelry, Kent Russell and his buddies decide it is their destiny to tell the gonzo story of Florida in the time when Trump is campaigning for president.

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'Perramus: The City and Oblivion' Depicts Argentina's Violent Anti-Communist Purge

Juan Sasturain and Alberto Breccia's graphic novel Peraramus: The City and Oblivion, is an absurd and existential odyssey of a political dissident who can't remember his name.

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'High Cotton' Is Culturally Astute and Progressive

Kristie Robin Johnson's collection of essays in High Cotton dismantle linear thinking with shrewdness and empathy.

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Ivy Mix's 'Spirits of Latin America' Evokes the Ancestors

A common thread unites Ivy Mix's engaging Spirits of Latin America; "the chaotic intermixture between indigenous and European traditions" is still an inextricable facet of life for everyone who inhabits the "New World".

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'How to Handle a Crowd' Goes to the Moderators

Anika Gupta's How to Handle a Crowd casts a long-overdue spotlight on the work that goes into making online communities enjoyable and rewarding.

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Fleetwood Dissects the European Mindset in His Moody, Disturbing Thriller, 'A Young Fair God'

Hugh Fleetwood's difficult though absorbing A Young Fair God offers readers a look into the age-old world views that have established and perpetuated cultural rank and the social attitudes that continue to divide us wherever we may reside in the world.

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'Dancing After TEN' Graphic Memoir Will Move You

Art dances with loss in the moving double-memoir by comics artists Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber, Dancing After TEN.

Books

'Hex' Drinks Deeply from the Poisoned Chalice

Whereas Rebecca Dinerstein Knight's novel demonstrates moments of emotional intensity and humor, Hex's proclivity towards toxicity is overburdening.

Books

Journalist Jonathan Cott's Interviews, Captured

With his wide-ranging interviews, Jonathan Cott explores "the indispensable and transformative powers of the imagination."

Books

First Tragedy, Then Farce, Then What?

Riffing off Marx's riff on Hegel on history, art historian and critic Hal Foster contemplates political culture and cultural politics in the age of Donald Trump in What Comes After Farce?

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Rishi Reddi's 'Passage West' Longs for Life In-Between Worlds

In Rishi Reddi's Passage West, set amidst the lives of early South Asian immigrants to California, the state of being 'in-between' is constantly moulded by the longing to belong simultaneously to two worlds.

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Weng Pixin's 'Sweet Time' Elevates the Art in Comics Art

Weng Pixin is an artist who happens to be working in the comics form.

Books

It's Not Just Fashion, It's Visual Activism

Fashion is a verb for the LGBTQ+ community, and Closet Cases shows how people use style and artifacts to build a self-image that is both a statement and a truth.

Books

Is 'The Unsuitable' Comedy? Horror? Or Something Else?

Molly Pohlig's debut novel, The Unsuitable, applies a different twist to a guilty conscience.

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When British Advertising Became Ubiquitous and Beautiful

Lambert tracks British social history through posters, cards, and other ephemera in the vividly illustrated The Art of Advertising.

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Cordelia Strube's 'Misconduct of the Heart' Palpitates with Dysfunction

Cordelia Strube's 11th novel, Misconduct of the Heart, depicts trauma survivors in a form that's compelling but difficult to digest.

Books

Flight and Return: Kendra Atleework's Memoir, 'Miracle Country'

Although inconsistent as a memoir, Miracle Country is a breathtaking environmental history. Atleework is a shrewd observer and her writing is a gratifying contribution to the desert-literature genre.

Books

Patrick Madden's 'Disparates' Makes Sense in These Crazy Times

There's no social distancing with Patrick Madden's hilarious Disparates. While reading these essays, you'll feel like he's in the room with you.

Books

Political Cartoonist Art Young Was an Aficionado of all Things Infernal

Fantagraphics' new edition of Inferno takes Art Young's original Depression-era critique to the Trump White House -- and then drags it all to Hell.

Books

The Rules Don't Apply to These Nonconformist Novelists

Ian Haydn Smith's succinct biographies in Cult Writers: 50 Nonconformist Novelists You Need to Know entice even seasoned bibliophiles.

Books

The Kinks and Their Bad-Mannered English Decency

Mark Doyles biography of the Kinks might complement a seminar in British culture. Its tone and research prove its intent to articulate social critique through music for the masses.

Books

'Yours, Jean' Is a Perfect Mixture of Tragedy, Repressed Desire, and Poor Impulse Control

Lee Martin's Yours, Jean is a perfectly balanced and heartbreaking mix of true crime narrative and literary fiction.

Books

The 2020 US Presidential Election Is Going to Be Wild but We've Seen Wild Before

Americans are approaching a historical US presidential election in unprecedented times. Or are they? Chris Barsanti's The Ballot Box: 10 Presidential Elections That Changed American History gives us a brief historical perspective.

Books

'Chasing Chopin' from the Concert Hall to the Jazz Club

Annik LaFarge's Chasing Chopin is a slim book but it stands out because it's a hybrid work—biography and journalism—with utterly lovely, vivid descriptions of Chopin's music.

Books

Collaboration Is Fruitful in Graphic Novel 'Old Growth'

In their collaborative graphic fiction, Old Growth, Olivo and Bavarksy drew in tandem, trading the panels back and forth, each adding new details, both and neither taking the role of primary artist-writer.

Books

Crapification Syndrome: When Hilarity Slides into Nausea

No one living in America today can escape the blast radius of the questions raised in Wendy A. Woloson's Crap.

Books

Schisms and Connections in Sahar Mustafah's 'The Beauty of Your Face'

With The Beauty of Your Face, Sahar Mustafah pens an emotional and rich journey, laden with awareness and intrigue.

Books

Shahidha Bari's 'Dressed' Is a Well-packed Suitcase

Reading Dressed is rather like the experience of wandering through a department store or a friend's well-curated closet.

Books

'The Cold Last Swim' Plunges into Alternate Hollywood History

Junior Burke knocks James Dean's bad-boy-gone-too-soon off the iconic pedestal in his latest book, The Cold Last Swim.

Books

Jeff Buckley's Voice Returns

Jeff Buckley's journals, photographs, and memorabilia of the late singer are compiled by his mother, Mary Guibert, and Rolling Stone's David Browne in Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice.

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J.M. Coetzee's 'The Death of Jesus'Uses Cervantes' 'Don Quixote' as Subtext

Whereas J.M. Coetzee's writing regularly utilizes parables, The Death of Jesus purposely destabilizes. It dazzles in its ability to present profound questions while challenging the reader to remain critical and question the meaning derived from any and all parables.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Our Monsters, Ourselves

Not just for devotees or scholars, The Monster Theory Reader provides a framework for understanding humans at least as much as monsters.

Books

'F*ckface' Sums It Up in 12 Short Stories

F*ckface finds its power in the depiction of Appalachia and its inhabitants. Leah Hampton produces a piercing, debut collection of stories.

Books

Memoir 'Rust' Wrestles with the Myth of the American Dream

Eliese Colette Goldbach's memoir, Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit, is the story of one descending into the depths of The American Dream and emerging with flecks of graphite dust on her cheeks, a master's degree in her hands, and a few new friends.

Books

Shintaro Kago's 'Dementia 21' Showcases Surrealist Manga

As much as I admire Shintaro Kago's oddness as a writer, his artistic pen is even sharper (but not without problems) as evident in Dementia 21.

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