Bibliophilic housekeeping, plus Lethem and Munro—and beetles

Bibliophilic housekeeping, plus Lethem and Munro—and beetles

It’s like musical goddamned chairs, my mood and my reading material—one moment I’m all eager for awkward crushing (Rainbow Rowell), the next I’m hungry for some straight-up murder shenanigans (Gillian Flynn); one day I’m bingeing myself with the best of historical romance (Courtney Milan, Mary Balogh, and so on) and before that day even ends I’ve tossed the ebooks into a dark corner of my hard drive to reach for comic books with lots and lots of explosions in them. [Continue reading.]

The Poetics of Having Left

The Poetics of Having Left

The noticeable ambivalence to questions of nationality is what allows Tenorio’s short stories to freely focus on the outliers that people his stories. Race and sense of place, the politics of leaving and of staying gone-too-long—are relegated to simply being among the many circumstances that make life a pain in the ass to live. The country one was born in is simply an inherent part of one’s character—one that, via Tenorio, willfully shuns preeminence. Yes, itt’s the color of one’s hair, the tinge one’s skin takes in high summer, the hardness of one’s consonants—the fact that, at a certain era, one couldn’t enter a bar through the front door. And it’s up there alongside figuring how to kiss someone onscreen for the first time, after a career of having “gouged, bitten, clawed, stabbed”; alongside watching one’s grandfather scoop chicken liver from the sidewalk, glimpsing the white on the crown amid the haphazardly applied dye; alongside learning how to make a habit of hiding in the garage as a child, waiting for one’s too-young, too-beautiful sister to return from her date with a no-good asshole. [Continue reading.]

elsewhere || “A Failed Conceit: How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely,” at POC-Metakritiko

My review of Steve Hely’s debut novel How I Became a Famous Novelist, is up on The Philippine Online Chronicles, so go clicky, if you are so inclined. Be warned, though: Sasha is not a happy goat when it comes to this book. The review begins: The narcissistic aspect of a debut novelist having his debut novel revolve [...]

elsewhere || “Almost the Whole Story: The Secret Lives of People in Love by Simon Van Booy,” at POC-Metakritiko

My review of Simon Van Booy's lovely short story collection, The Secret Lives of People in Love, is up on The Philippine Online Chronicles. [For the record, Mr. Van Booy, I would've killed for that title.] A snippet from the review: Though the nineteen short stories revolve around love and its many forms, it is [...]

elsewhere || Review of Asleep in the Sun, by Adolfo Bioy Casares, at POC-Metakritiko

My review of NYRB Classics' Asleep in the Sun, novel of Adolfo Bioy Casares, is up on The Philippine Online Chronicles. Casares' slim novel is only my second NYRB read, and it sort of fell on my lap on BookSale spelunking -- I think I hurt the guy beside me reaching for this book. Here's [...]

elsewhere || “Lydia Davis Breaks It Down” at POC-Metakritiko

My kind-of review of Break It Down, short story collection of Lydia Davis [included in The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis], is up on Metakritiko at The Philippine Online Chronicles: "Lydia Davis Breaks It Down." Well. That's all, really. I mean, click, if you're so inclined. I like this collection, though with reservations. And I [...]

elsewhere || “The Missteps of Lorrie Moore, Literary Hero” at POC-Metakritiko

My review of A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore is up on the Metakritiko section of The Philippine Online Chronicles. It's part of an [bleep]-word essay called "The Missteps of Lorrie Moore, Literary Hero," and has been divided in two because we want to be considerate of the TL;DR crowd. Aherm. So. The [...]