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Category: Reviews

C Pam Zhang’s mesmerizing How Much of These Hills is Gold

C Pam Zhang’s mesmerizing How Much of These Hills is Gold

How Much of These Hills is Gold, by C Pam Zhang. 2020. Riverhead Books.

The American West of our imaginations, back in the day. Back in the days of cowboys and gold rushes, San Fran brothels and deadly coal mines, horse thieves and mountain men. The American West of our rather limited imaginations, if we grew up with a certain kind of preset range of ideas, photos, movies, stories and dreams in our heads; which, of course, to one degree or another, means pretty much all of us.

But it’s different if. Way different if, we’re of that tribe that ended up dominating all the other tribes, and all too often take it for granted that our stories, movies, ideas and dreams should be the focus, the main narrative, the supposedly real history of our West.… |To be Continued “C Pam Zhang’s mesmerizing How Much of These Hills is Gold”

How to Form a “We”

How to Form a “We”

The Buddha in the Attic
The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka. 2011

In Julie Otsuka’s beautiful novel, The Buddha in the Attic, the narrator is a crowd, an us, a swarm of voices we want to listen to, because it’s truly an Everyone, and the voice is a poem. She speaks for them, as them, as a people, and as individual women who once shared a voyage from Japan to America as mail-order brides soon after WWI. There are shocks and surprises, radical disappointments and disillusionment along the way, but Otsuka’s incantatory prose moves us and moves the book swiftly forward, even though we want to dwell with this new “we” longer. |To be Continued “How to Form a “We””

New Poetry Review, by Robert Mueller

New Poetry Review, by Robert Mueller

Review of
Alan Gilbert, Late in the Antenna Fields

 

The writing in Alan Gilbert’s volume of poetry, Late in the Antenna Fields (Futurepoem Books, 2011), feasts on sarcasm and dispirited bitterness, not to mention a certain snagging anomie.  Putting it better or worse, the reader might think to assimilate it to some kind of art adhesion.  One is led, or profited, to hear, and to sense and to pick at, a general vaguely petulant and vaguely disinterested and yet persistent patter of ambient petrified displeasure.  There is thus less of a danger than a foregone captation in this approach, inherently.  |To be Continued “New Poetry Review, by Robert Mueller”

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