Suspend Your Disbelief

Preeta Samarasan


Preeta Samarasan graduated from the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Michigan in 2006. Her first novel, Evening Is The Whole Day, was published by Houghton Mifflin in 2008. It was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection and was featured in Poets & Writers magazine’s roundup of the year’s best debuts. Her short fiction and nonfiction has been published or is forthcoming in Hyphenmagazine, the Michigan Quarterly ReviewEGO magazine, A Public Space, and the anthology Urban Odysseys: KL Stories. Three books about which she thinks every day are: Bleak House, by Charles Dickens; Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie; Waterland, by Graham Swift. She lives in a small village in central France with Rob the husband and Bella the dog. Visit her website


Reviews |

Agaat, by Marlene van Niekerk, trans. Michiel Heyns

Preeta Samarasan finds South African novelist Marlene van Niekerk’s Agaat to be transformative. The story of an Afrikaner woman and the black servant who has worked for her for most of both their lives, Agaat examines relationships of race and power between the two women by employing a stunning combination of structural intricacy, stylistic range, and daring allegory.

Reviews |

Cheating at Canasta, by William Trevor

William Trevor is a God anyone can believe in–ever-loving and omniscient, but not omnipotent. Even as he reveals lives destroyed or halted, one is calmed by his authority, safe in his hands. It’s true; there is nothing he can do to save his characters from themselves. But in his latest collection, Trevor does not just bear silent witness: unlike most contemporary short-story writers, he spells out his stories’ moral lessons, traces them to their furthest conclusions, and even ties up loose ends.

Reviews |

The Outcast, by Sadie Jones

Sadie Jones’s exciting debut is saturated in the same high color as the embracing couple on its cover. Simultaneously tender and urgent, claustrophobic and wistful, The Outcast tells the story of Lewis Aldridge, a tortured romantic figure in the Heathcliff tradition, and of the repressive postwar English society that drives him to self-destruction.