News & New Work
News & Reviews
The New York Times reflects on writers whose work rewrite history through family sagas, including Whiting winners John Keene and Layli Long Soldier. Keene’s work in particular, the Times writes, “raises unwritten possibilities from the past’s dormant margins.”
Hilton Als says that Herzog’s latest play, about a mother and her disabled son, is “beautiful.” “Families rarely live up to our dream of what they should be,” Als reflects of the play's themes, and calls Mary Jane Herzog’s “most satisfying work to date.”
In an eight-part poem for Poetry, Hutchinson probes the concept of ancestry and declares, “Yes, having a gift is to be called./ Since it is given, let it go.”
The Guardian shares Vuong’s “amazing” story of his journey to poetry and talks to Vuong about why he believes “when you’re telling stories it’s very hard to hate each other.”
McCraney reveals what Oprah said to him when she woke him up with a phone call, and talks about what gave him “permission to talk to God.”
In the New York Review of Books, Pinckney discusses “how much about race immigration is,” and wonders “is there a distinction between xenophobia and racism?”
The Post remarks on the many ways one can read McDermott’s new novel – as love story, Gothic tale, or Greek tragedy – and calls the book “superb and masterful.”
McDermott is a finalist for her novel The Ninth Hour, about a young Irish immigrant determined to prove himself. The prize honors books have received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews over the past year.
The literary award honors “the power of literature to promote peace, justice, and global understanding.” The Underground Railroad is a finalist for the fiction prize.
The Tribune writes that the collection “collapses the distance between a word and an action,” and says that the work is “incisively intelligent and emotionally resonant.”
Smith began her service with an opening lecture at the Thomas Jefferson building, where she read selections from her three collections. She remarked that she was eager to travel and see “what poems speak to that is relevant to lives in other places.”
The horror novel about social media and voyeurism “subverts expectations,” Ars Technica writes, declaring LaValle’s latest, “the perfect reimagining of the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen for the modern oversharing era.”
Chiasson reflects, in the New Yorker, on the poet’s decades-long career, writing “Merwin’s asceticism has always had about it the prowess of a sophisticate."
Crase’s collection is a “reminder that the history we are brooks no conclusion,” writes Hyperallergic, and says that his poetry’s “reach is enormous.”
The Rumpus discusses New People by Danzy Senna, whose novel was the website’s book club pick in August. Senna sheds light on why writing about race comes naturally to her, and how she inhabits her characters without judging them.
Thompson explores James Baldwin’s declaration that he was a blues singer, and delves into the ways that Baldwin brought the “beat of the blues” back to the written word.
Guirgis discusses his first return to the stage in thirteen years, the difficult life of a TV writer, and missing his close friend, the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Smith discusses the religious “soul-searching” she engaged in while writing her memoirs, and why she believes “art is trying to do something that’s fundamentally impossible.”
Publications & Productions
Mary Jane is a portrait of a single mother’s relationship with her severely disabled son. As she deals with near-constant crisis, she encounters a cast of women who enable her persistence. The New York Times says "Mary Jane [is] the most profound and harrowing of Ms. Herzog’s many fine plays."
Eugenides's first story collection presents characters in the midst of personal and national emergencies. A failed poet becomes an embezzler; a high school student takes drastic measures to escape the strictures of her immigrant family. The Los Angeles Review of Books says that Fresh Complaint "showcases the vast breadth of humanity its author can call to life."
Grise's latest is a performance manifesto drawing from experiences with free health clinics, abortion doctors, Marxist artists, and dermatologists. Your Healing Is Killing Me reflects on living with post-traumatic stress disorder and more in our current moment.
After the suicide of a young Irish immigrant, an aging nun directs the way forward for his widow and his unborn child. Publishers Weekly calls McDermott's latest "an immense, brilliant novel."
In what GQ calls "the funniest book of the year," the year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. At the end of the school year, Selin heads to Hungary to teach English, journeying further inside herself to come to grips with first love and becoming a writer.
Maria and Khalil are the perfect couple, "King and Queen of the Racially Nebulous Prom." They're starring in a documentary about "new people" blurring the old boundaries. Everything Maria knows she should want lies before her -- yet she can't stop daydreaming about another man, dredging up dangerous secrets from the past. "Everyone should read it," writes Vogue.
Plagued by bizarre symptoms, Mary Parsons seeks relief from a holistic treatment. To cover the cost, Mary lands a job as Emotional Girlfriend in the “Girlfriend Experiment”―the brainchild of an infamous actor, Kurt Sky. With so little to lose, Mary falls headfirst into Kurt’s ego-driven simulacrum of human connection. The New York Times calls Lacey "the real thing."
Vulture says horror fans "can't miss" LaValle's latest novel, about Apollo, who's settling into his new life as a parent. When his wife commits a horrific act and vanishes, Apollo travels to a forgotten island, a graveyard full of secrets, and a forest trying to solve the mystery.
At an arts conference in New England, once-famous cartoonist Rich finds himself trying not to think about his failing career and the shameless shenanigans of his colleagues. Is his own very real desire for love and human contact going to rescue or destroy him? Jennifer Egan calls Klam's latest "an electric amalgam of frustration and tenderness."
Sayrafiezadeh's play, starring a character named Saïd, explores growing up Iranian and Jewish-American during the Iran hostage crisis. As he and his well-meaning collaborators try to stage his script, things go quickly and hilariously from bad to worse, leading Saïd to wonder if he will ever be able to fit in.
In this collection, poems selected from Cox's thirty-year career converse with each other across books and across time. They explore essential connections--one's relationship to poetic tradition, the reader, the natural world, other lives, language itself.