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Finding Harmony Amidst Discord: 'The Mountains Sing'

A Vietnamese family's song resounds over the effects of decades of tumult in Nguyen Phan Que Mai's excellent novel, The Mountains Sing.

Books

'American Dirt' Now That the Dust Has Settled

Though the bluster has asserted the opposite, Jeanine Cummins' prose in American Dirt washes away the gore and grime to show the human faces that make up the migrant crisis of the Western Hemisphere.

Books

'The Opposite of Fate' Embraces Life, However Inopportune

In The Opposite of Fate, Alison McGhee humanizes the abortion issue in a way that is unexpected and heartening.

Film

Leaving Is Just as Hard as Loving in 'Marriage Story'

Noah Baumbach's attention to the daily agonies of divorce in Marriage Story displays love's enduring power—or at least, its residue.

Film

'The Rise of Skywalker' Is a Lightsaber Duel between Good and Evil, Past and Present, Authenticity and Greed

The Rise of Skywalker has been trumpeted as the last in the Skywalker saga. But with Disney's and this trilogy's annoying tendency to resurrect, it may never end.

Books

A Bookish Teenager Finds Herself in Laura Taylor Namey’s 'Library of Lost Things'

In Laura Taylor Namey's Library of Lost Things, teens find security and significance in themselves as works in progress.

Books

Discovering Family, Memory, and Teleportation in Ta-Nehisi Coates' 'The Water Dancer'

Ta-Nehisi Coates' debut novel about slavery in America, The Water Dancer, dares us to dance -- and remember.

Film

Tragic Spectacle as Social Commentary in Todd Phillips' 'Joker'

Todd Phillips' divisive Joker stirs the conscience -- and the stomach.

Film

'Prospect': A Coming of Age Character Arc in Realistic Sci-Fi

In a sci-fi setting with Wild West overtones, Sophie Thatcher's Cee is discovering how far she will go to get what she wants in Prospect.

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