Fire Island: A Century in the Life of an American Paradise by Jack Parlett

Review Essay by Walter Cummins Jack Parlett made his initial visit to the gay village of Cherry Grove on Fire Island in 2017 with his friend Celine by walking a…

The Unwritten Book: An Investigation by Samantha Hunt

Review by Walter Cummins Samantha Hunt subtitles The Unwritten Book an “Investigation.” The connotation of that word suggests a systematic analysis of clues. But what Hunt has really produced is…

Blank Pages and Other Stories by Bernard MacLaverty

Review by Walter Cummins Bernard MacLaverty’s latest story collection, his sixth, builds a thematic connection around its title story, “Blank Pages.” Frank, a writer, has been blocked since the death…

Queer Ducks (and Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality by Eliot Schrefer

Review by Walter Cummins Eliot Schrefer’s Queer Ducks is a revolutionary book, one that upends longstanding assumptions about the nature and purpose of sex in the animal kingdom, with implications…

Our Little World by Karen Winn

Review by Walter Cummins Our Little World is in several ways a deceptive novel, cleverly constructed. The opening chapters told from the perspective of pre-teen Bee—the nickname she prefers over…

Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces 2004 to 2021 by Margaret Atwood

Review by Walter Cummins Many readers of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale probably assume the abuses and restrictions inflicted on Offred and other women were products of Atwood’s dystopian imagination.…

The Man Who Tasted Words by Guy Leschziner

Review by Walter Cummins The title case study of neurologist Guy Laschziner’s exploration of “the strange and startling world of our senses” doesn’t appear until the final chapter. James, now…

A Little Hope by Ethan Joella

Review by Walter Cummins The pages of Ethan Joella’s A Little Hope abound in death and loss. The novel, which opens with the question of whether a central character will…

The Gospel According to H.L. Hix by H.L. Hix

Review by Walter Cummins First, came the gospel writer cluster of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Now, two thousand years later, the world has another “according to” version, in this…