Suspend Your Disbelief

Casey Dembowski


Casey Dembowski graduated from Adelphi University’s MFA program in 2011. She currently works in corporate marketing communications. Her favorite novel is Wuthering Heights. Casey recommends Atonement by Ian McEwan, Self-Help by Lorrie Moore, and Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo.


Reviews |

Every Contact Leaves A Trace, by Elanor Dymott

Elanor Dymott’s debut novel, Every Contact Leaves A Trace, presents itself as both love story and mystery. Told retrospectively months from the action of the novel, a man relates the series of events that led to his wife’s murder — a story that, in his process of uncovering, reveals the image of a woman he clearly never really knew.

Shop Talk |

YA We Love: The Truth About Forever

I could easily make the case that Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech changed my life forever. I read it some time in early middle school. It was the first book that made me want to be a writer. For the next decade, yes even through college, I reread Chaos — diary novel about one 13-year old girl’s exciting summer and her first crush — once a year. It was the first book to inspire the writer inside, but hardly the last. It was followed by a 28-book series about a group of teenagers living in a close-knit community off […]

Shop Talk |

Stories We Love: Self-Help

It may have been written before I was born, but Lorrie Moore’s debut collection Self-Help holds a special place on my bookshelf. Maybe it’s because it was Moore’s MFA thesis from Cornell, or maybe it’s her complete disregard for standard writing rules, but the collection brought me into a world I didn’t want to leave. Her jab at the lucrative but clichéd self-help genre offer often jaded advice on how to be. As a near-graduate of an MFA program, the idea of my thesis becoming a published work is an intriguing yet frightening idea. Living a life of letters and […]

Reviews |

Touch, by Alexi Zentner

Alexi Zentner’s debut, Touch, began as a short story and grew to a mythical realist novel that delivers monsters, secret family histories and three generations of the Boucher family – all nestled in Sawgamet, a northwoods logging town. Casey Tolfree unpacks the book’s elegant mingling of past and present, reality and myth, and loss that gives the living strength.