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Book Review: Dawn Anahid MacKeen’s The Hundred Year Walk

Book Review: Dawn Anahid MacKeen’s The Hundred Year Walk

With the help of Stepan’s meticulous journals, MacKeen reconstructs her grandfather’s journey on and off the page: she charts her travels through Turkey and Syria, tracing her grandfather’s footsteps nearly a century later.

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Book Review: Tyree Daye’s Cardinal

What I love best about Cardinal is the nuance and complexity with which it questions Daye’s conflicting desire to both stay in the South and leave, from his complicated relationship to the home that both raised and wishes to kill him to reflections on how being Black in America means being unsafe in America (‘I’ve never been through airport security / without being pulled to the side and searched / to know you can die anywhere / doesn’t feel like flying anywhere’). These remarkably tender verses are filled with love, grief, memory, and musicality: ‘if you see me dancing a two-step / I’m sending a starless code / we’re escaping everywhere.

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Book Review: Etaf Rum’s A Woman Is No Man

Book Review: Etaf Rum’s A Woman Is No Man

This book was excruciating. Rum centers the misogyny that runs deep in conservative communities like the Brooklyn neighborhood in which Isra lives, where women are beaten by their husbands and are thrust into traditional gender roles. … A Woman Is No Man is one of those works that sweeps you up and sets you down winded. You feel more alive, somehow, but you need to recover, especially when you remember there are so many who will never come down.

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Book Review: Gavriel Savit’s The Way Back

This meandering delight of a book takes you from a tiny shtetl in the forest to the Far Country of demons, goblins, and the spirits of the dead. Bluma, the baker’s daughter, and Yehuda Leib, the town scapegoat and thief, both stumble into the Far Country after a near encounter with the Angel of Death. There, they must make pacts with demons, answer ancient riddles, and learn how to navigate the winding nature of the land in order to make it out alive — and, for the most part, intact.

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