Book Reviews

Not a Self-Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu by Yi Shun Lai

Yi Shun Lai’s Not a Self-Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu is the story of a young Taiwanese-American woman living in Manhattan seeking her place in the world through self-help books. Marty, the story’s protagonist, quickly learns that personal sovereignty often follows in the wake of misunderstandings, destruction, and loss.

Research Notes

Katie Chase on Man and Wife

The stories that make up Man and Wife were written over a period of ten years. Two were originally part of an earlier collection that hadn’t quickly sold and was put on hold in favor of embarking on what was next: novels were (and are) known to sweeten the deal.

Fiction

Ephemeroptera by Nancy Au

Below the winding river road there are naked sunbathers clinging to naked milk-sucking babies, spotless rainbow of towels, neat corners, not a speck of sand because nudists are worried about getting grit out of all their sensitive cracks and crevices.

Interviews

An Interview with C.D. Albin

C.D. Albin talks to Jan K. Nielsen about his collection Hard Toward Home and writing the Ozarks.

Book Reviews

War, So Much War by Mercè Rodoreda, tr Maruxa Relaño and Martha Tennent

War, So Much War is a short novel following the travels of Adrià Guinart, a Catalan youth who, desperate to escape his stifling world, leaves home at the age of fifteen to offer his services as a soldier. In truth, though, the war plays a minor role in the boy’s experiences.

Research Notes

Sherrie Flick on Whiskey, Etc.

The research for my short story collection Whiskey, Etc. is my adult life lived. The 57 stories in this collection reflect the places I’ve been, people I’ve met, and concepts I’ve obsessed over for the past 27 years. The stories themselves chart a timeline of me and my writing life.

Fiction

River of Running Lava by Lori Sambol Brody

Jane wears her lucky bra, the one with white lace; I wear Roman Holiday Red lipstick, the color that makes boys look twice. We leave the hostel teetering on the cliff’s edge. The day is behind us: the ruins unearthed from ash, the looming double-humped volcano, the man on the train back to Naples rubbing himself through tailored pants.

Book Reviews

Roxy by Esther Gerritsen, tr Michele Hutchison

Esther Gerritsen’s latest novel, her sixth in total and second to be translated into English, opens with a familiar scene. Late at night, a pair of police appear at Roxy’s doorstep to deliver a bit of bad news: her husband is dead.

Research Notes

Dinah Cox on Remarkable

The junior high school book report assignment, that necessary but onerous rite of passage, once inspired me to fabricate a book title and author, along with characters, plot, and relevant themes.

Fiction

After the Storm, The Cement Ship by Wyatt Bonikowski

The storm lasts three days, and by the end of it the mud is sliding under the patio door into the kitchen. Our baby, who has just learned to walk, slaps her feet through the mud on her way to the living room and you chase her, swatting at her diaper with a hand towel.

Book Reviews

Juventud by Vanessa Blakeslee

Juventud shatters expectations in the most satisfying ways. The book is a first novel from Vanessa Blakeslee, whose 2014 story collection Train Shots won an IPPY Gold Medal. The work is also an interesting and well-executed departure for Curbside Splendor.