Exploring the art of prose


New books!

Here’s a quick look at some of the great books out over the past two weeks. Happy pub day to all!


The Caine Prize For African Writing 2017
Interlink Publishing

 From Kirkus Reviews: “Short fiction by some of Africa’s most talented writers. Since 2000, the annual Caine Prize in African Writing has celebrated some of the most innovative and evocative English-language short fiction by African writers. This collection, which features the five stories shortlisted for this year’s prize, as well as 11 stories written during the 2017 Caine Prize Writers’ Workshop, held in Tanzania, continues that tradition… Indeed, all the authors render their stories well, building hauntingly familiar or fascinatingly new worlds and exploring them creatively. A wonderful set of 16 stories that covers a lot of ground and features many genres—from myth and folklore to the postmodern and experimental—in a way that will surely satisfy readers.”


Bill Henderson, editor, THE PUSHCART PRIZE XLII
Pushcart Press

From Kirkus Reviews: “Another year, another brick of a book, and the Pushcart Prize annual anthology marches on. If you live long enough, the literary stars you grew up with start to drop, driven, as Homer says, like leaves before the wind. Meanwhile, other worthy heirs will emerge as if from nowhere—or West Virginia, or some writing program in Alaska or even Iowa. So it is with publisher (and himself estimable writer, as witness his 2000 memoir, Tower: Faith, Vertigo, and Amateur Construction) Henderson’s choice of nominated, vetted, adjudged, and now anthologized pieces from last year’s harvest of small press publications.”


Rachel Ingalls, Mrs. Caliban
New Directions

From Kirkus Reviews: “A lonely housewife gets a new lease on life in the strong, green arms of a sea monster. Thanks to the support of writers like Daniel Handler and Rivka Galchen, who introduces this novella, the marvelous Ingalls (Three Masquerades, 2017, etc.) has been rescued from obscurity with reissues of her books. Mrs. Caliban was originally published in 1982 to raves that compared it to works by Edgar Allan Poe, David Lynch, Richard Yates, and Angela Carter, not to mention E.T.,King Kong, and “Beauty and the Beast”—which only shows how sui generis it really is… The love story is a delight, the social commentary sharp, the writing funny and fun—and yet the sorrow, even bitterness, at the core of this book about our perfidious species is inescapable and profound. Where is the movie?”


László Krasznahorkai, The World Goes On
New Directions

 From Kirkus Reviews: “The world goes on indeed, and it’s not pretty: so Hungarian novelist Krasznahorkai (The Last Wolf and Herman, 2016, etc.) instructs in this existentialism-tinged set of linked stories….“I don’t want to die,” Krasznahorkai writes, “just to leave the Earth,” which subtly echoes the opening words of the collection itself: “I have to leave this place, because this is not the place where anyone can be, and where it would be worthwhile to remain….” That echo sounds at many points throughout the book, a whirlwind of sentences that run on for 10 pages and more at a time and that evoke a world-weary pessimism over human beings and their strange ways….Complex and difficult, as are all of Krasznahorkai’s works, but worth sticking with.”