Tracy Flick Can’t Win by Tom Perrota

Review by David Starkey I must admit that I’ve never read Election, the novel by Tom Perrota on which the 1999 film—directed by Alexander Payne and starring Reese Witherspoon and…

Diary of a Void by Emi Yagi

Review by David Starkey Emi Yagi’s Diary of a Void, winner of the Dazai Osamu Prize for a debut novel, is based on a simple yet irresistible premise. Shibata, the…

Recitatif by Toni Morrison

Review by David Starkey “Recitatif” is Toni Morrison’s only short story, and as she is one of the greatest novelists of the past fifty years, it deserves the careful attention…

The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid

Review by Brian Tanguay Mohsin Hamid doesn’t entertain simplistic themes or easily resolved problems in his novels. His first book, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, dealt with the mistrust between the West…

Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson

Review by Walter Cummins The character of Gwendolen Kelling provides a form of ballast to Kate Atkinson’s Shrines of Gaiety. It’s not that she can prevent the criminality and murders—bodies…

A Storm in the Stars by Don Zancanella

Review by Walter Cummins The presence of Mary Godwin Shelley opens and closes Don Zancanella’s intimate portrayal of the circle around Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Storm in the Stars. The…

Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang

Review by Brian Tanguay When Daiyu, the protagonist of Jenny Tinghui Zhang’s debut novel, Four Treasures of the Sky, is abducted from the fish market, she’s a desperately hungry thirteen-year-old…

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

Review by David Starkey Claire Keegan’s novella Small Things Like These was released just before Christmas of last year. Set in a small Irish town during Christmas 1985, the book…

The Magician by Colm Tóbín

Review by David Starkey We are clearly meant to sympathize with Thomas Mann, the title character of Colm Tóbín’s novel The Magician. A gay youth trapped in an uptight heterosexual…

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Review by David Starkey In order to truly appreciate Emily St. John Mandel’s new novel, a reader should be familiar with her two previous efforts: the groundbreaking pre-Covid pandemic novel,…