Book Reviews

Collateral Light

Collateral Light

Julia Cohen, Collateral Light, Brooklyn Arts Press, 2013. $15.95, 92 pages.

Julia Cohen’s second full-length poetry collection is a graceful and brutal welcoming into the body of our own lives: an invitation to hold a magnifying glass up to our …

The Dig

The Dig

The Dig, by Cynan Jones, Coffee House Press, 2015. $15.95, 156 pages.

Trembling with taut, visceral prose, Cynan Jones’s The Dig is a sparse work of searing beauty. Set in rural Wales, The Dig follows the lives of two …

Sympathetic People

Sympathetic People

Sympathetic People, by Donna Baier Stein, Serving House Books, 2013. $13.95, 148 pages.

“What would life be without hunger?” The narrator in Donna Baier Stein’s short story “Coming Clean” asks a man with whom she has had an affair. Though …

Battleborn

Battleborn

Battleborn, by Claire Vaye Watkins. Riverhead Books, 2012. $16, 288 pages.

With the Mojave Desert as her set and vibrant characters as her stars, Watkins’s collection is an almost filmic bricolage of survival in an unforgiving landscape. Watkins’s stories …

Dollbaby

Dollbaby

Dollbaby, by Laura Lane McNeal. Viking, 2014. $26.95, 337 pages.

In her debut novel, author Laura Lane McNeal maps out the city of New Orleans in order to imagine a gripping tale of family secrets, civil rights, and Southern …