Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘Riverhead’

Reviews |

Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It, by Maile Meloy

In Malie Meloy’s most recent collection, Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It, there are no clear lines, no obvious right answers. Meloy’s characters are caught between two choices that are both right—or both wrong—and that’s what makes their decisions so difficult, and makes these stories so compelling. In reading them, you feel, as the author puts it, “both the threat of disorder and the steady, thrumming promise of having everything [you] wanted, all at once.”

Interviews |

Miles from Nowhere: A Conversation with Nami Mun

“Fiction is my default writing mode. Whenever I witness something odd on the streets or hear intriguing dialogue on the trains, my first impulse is to drop these things into my fiction bank. I don’t have a memoir bank. Fiction, to me, is running through the woods rather than running on a treadmill. It’s freedom to make up characters, setting, situations, etc.—and through this freedom I feel better equipped to express and explore my ideas.”

Reviews |

Love and Obstacles, by Aleksandar Hemon

Perhaps, in keeping with the stricter labeling laws, Aleksandar Hemon‘s new collection of stories should list its primary ingredient first. Impediments, more than love, are the foundation of Love and Obstacles: Stories (Riverhead, May 2009). Foreignness, prepubescence, awkward bookishness… Even sex itself is a liability: the characters look ridiculous pursuing it, worse doing it, and we think less of them afterward. Men offer up their partners for it, threaten each other’s mothers and sisters with it, reminisce about it, and thwart each other’s pursuits of it. Aleksandar Hemon’s vivid prose serves as the overlit bar mirror, showing us every wax bead in his characters’ pores.

Reviews |

The Mayor's Tongue, by Nathaniel Rich

Near the beginning of Nathaniel Rich’s debut novel, The Mayor’s Tongue, a young man named Eugene reads a novella by his idol, the legendary author Constance Eakins. “[It] was typical Eakins,” Eugene reflects, “a strange reality that bordered on fantasy, an exotic locale, larger-than-life characters.” He might have been describing The Mayor’s Tongue itself, a book so dizzyingly rich with surprises that no review could—or should—describe them all.