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Is Solipsism Art? On 'The Exhibition of Persephone Q'

Jessi Jezewska Stevens' debut novel, The Exhibition of Persephone Q, is filled with exciting ideas and quirky characters, but the book's surfeit of style can't make up for a lack of personality or perspective.

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A Biography Worthy of 'Hiroshima' Author John Hersey

John Hersey covered Hiroshima and America's race riots with empathy, courage, and profound humility. Jeremy Treglown's biography, Mr. Straight Arrow, should bring a new generation of readers to Hersey's work.

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Two Fascist Perspectives on WWII: The Colonel's Wife and Deviation

Authors Rosa Liksom and Luce D'Eramo brilliantly convey the seduction and willful disbelief associated with fascism; how one brushes off their misgivings, thinking that it will be different for them.

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Joseph Scapellato's 'The Made-Up Man' Brings Forth 21st Century Absurdism

In rendering his most avant-garde characters as members of a kind of self-help conspiracy in The Made-Up Man, Joseph Scapellato offers not an update but a revision of absurdism, and as such, many social phenomena ripe for satire get off easy.

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'Can Democracy Work?' Is the Essential Question We Must Continue to Grapple With

James Miller's Can Democracy Work? is a coming-of-age story for a generation of Americans whose ideals of social, economic, and political progress foundered on the rocks of brute capitalist power.

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'Half Gods' and Painful Fragments

In debut short story collection Half Gods, Akil Kumarasamy gives us the painful fragments of her characters' experiences with care, as if she is handing us shards of broken glass.

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Owls, Aliens, and Others

Essayist Brian Phillips is no staunch empiricist, nor does he want to shatter delusions or expose machinations. In Impossible Owls, he is content to remain in a wide-eyed and owl-ier place.

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'Talking to My Daughter About the Economy', and Putting Economists In Their Place

Yanis Varoufakis treats with disdain the idea that economics is a real science – it's more like a contemporary form of religion, propped up by ruling elites to make gullible everyday people remain subservient and go along with the elites' bad and self-serving ideas, he says.

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'Muse' Is a Story Not About Love, but About Worship

Johnathan Galassi's send-up to the publishing industry and his own past offers nothing to the tradition it so lionizes.


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