“Brahms’s Lullaby” in Arts & Letters.

I don’t recall, now, how I stumbled across the story, but I was reading something—probably half into some Wikipedia hole—when I came across a small anecdote about the early days of recording technology. The story went like this: Thomas Edison had sent an associate to Vienna in the late 19th century to get a recording […]

Review of “Plaza Requiem.”

My review of Martha Bátiz’s fine collection of stories, Plaza Requiem, has been posted up over at Literal Magazine. On this blog, I wanted to share a few thoughts that didn’t make it into the review. Reading Bátiz’s stories, I was struck by another short story collection I’d read recently, which, for reasons that should become apparent soon, […]

Recent Work.

Hi, everyone. I’ve been working on some longer projects these days (some fiction and a longer essay), so the only things that have recently seen the light of publishing are a few book reviews. Fortunately I’ve reviewed some interesting books, so I hope they make for some interesting reading: On Here in Berlin by Cristina Garcia, […]

The Lip of the Grave: On “Imagine Me Gone” by Adam Haslett.

Imagine Me Gone, Adam Haslett’s second novel, achieves something difficult: it manages to dramatize depression and mental illness without being tiresome, fatuous, or boring. The novel opens in the mind of John, an Englishman who suffers from the something he calls the “monster.” When John had been hospitalized for depression, Margaret, his American girlfriend at […]

Two Recent Reviews.

This summer has brought a couple more book reviews o’ mine: Over at The Colorado Review, my review of Diego Zuñiga’s short first novel, Camanchaca, has been posted. A Chilean, Zuñiga has published a novel whose ending and style remind me a bit of fellow Chilean Álvaro Bisama’s Dead Stars (which I reviewed a while […]

New review of an old fave.

Slightly late to posting: my review of Javier Marías latest novel, Thus Bad Begins went live awhile back at Literal Magazine. I have written about Marías before, having reviewed his penultimate novel, The Infatuations, for The Millions. Here’s how my review starts, picking up on a line I had mentioned in my review of The […]

Review of “Fever Dream” at Literal Magazine.

My review of Samanta Schweblin’s skin-crawlingly creepy Fever Dream is now live at Literal Magazine. My review, in a snippet: For Fever Dream is truly less a dream and more a nightmare, although the kind that—like the best of horror—you cannot help but wanting to see through. In a happy coincidence, the book was named to […]

“Gaddafi in Drag” at Drunk Monkeys.

Many thanks to Drunk Monkeys for accepting my funny little story “Gaddafi in Drag.” You can read it here. And here’s how it starts: And then Gaddafi came in, totally in drag. Not just eye shadow, which he was famous for, but a full evening dress, pearl necklace, and hose. Rouge on his cheeks. Four […]

Five Favorite Albums of 2016.

Nobody asked me, but here are my 5 albums of 2016, in no particular order: A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, Sturgill Simpson We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service,  A Tribe Called Quest Sunlit Youth, Local Natives 22, A Million, Bon Iver Since subscribing to an unlimited service, […]

The first in a series.

My review of Julio Cortázar’s Save Twilight: Poems (from City Lights Books) is up at Literal Magazine. It should be the first in a multiple reviews for Literal, where I have been given the opportunity to regularly write on Latin American and/or Spanish language literature. If you know me, you know I’ve been a longtime fan of […]