Tag Archives: Book Review

Electric Arches: A Review of Eve L. Ewing’s Sci-Fi Love Song to Black America

Posted by Olivia Martel Cockerham, GD Art Editor and Poetry Reader for 7.1

In her first book of poems, sociologist Eve L. Ewing takes the reader traveling through time. Beneath its stunning cover by Trinidadian artist Brianna McCarthy, Electric Arches reveals magic powers and “moon men,” machines that let you speak back into history and receive voices of the past. It traces the legacies of historic African American figures to the routine and daily struggle of black people facing abuse from police and civilians alike; the past and present of black America bleeding together and reaching, stretching out to hopeful tomorrows. Continue reading

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Shara McCallum’s Madwoman: an Exploration of Female Identity, Race, and Strength

Posted by Arianna Miller, GD Co-Poetry Section Head for 6.2

Shara McCallum was this semester’s visiting poet at SUNY Geneseo.  I had not only the pleasure of sitting down for lunch with McCallum, both also of reading her diverse collection, MadwomanMadwoman spans across what it means to be a woman, to have the privilege of being a black woman who appears white, and to accept being the daughter of a schizophrenic, all with the underlying presence of her Jamaican heritage.    Continue reading

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A Review of Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach, and a reflection on the relationship between art and story

Posted by Francesco Bruno, GD Fiction Co-Section Head for 6.2 

I invite you to refute the old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover,” and contemplate the paperback edition of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, published in 2011 by Alfred A Knopf. The cover shows a colorful menagerie of bodies in manifold contortions and postures. The translucent figures overlap and blend with each other, but no single figure grabs a central focus. The book’s title is laid over this image (again, the font is translucent) and the cluster of bodies is put into focus by a background of stark white space. The cover suggests not cacophony but polyphony, its narratives not shouting over one another but offering a variety of perspectives and lenses through which readers can continuously re-interpret the cover. Continue reading

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A Kind of Book Review of Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky With Exit Wounds

Posted by Frank Bruno, Fiction Reader for issue 6.1

In May of 2016 Ocean Vuong’s first full length collection of poetry, Night Sky With Exit Wounds was released by Copper Canyon Press. The book has since received swaths of rave reviews and a number of prestigious awards including the Whiting Award, the Forward Prize, and the Thom Gunn Award. Despite the relative media buzz created by the book, it only came to me a year after its initial release when my friend read me the poem “Thanksgiving 2006.” I started reading my own copy this past June and finished it last week. Continue reading

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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Posted by Anthony Bettina, GD Creative Non-Fiction Reader for 5.2

Yes, everyone in America knows (or at least should know) about the plight of the African-American from the inception of The United States America to present day. It is a topic of frequent discussion in political and social circles alike when addressing concerns such as the legitimacy of Affirmative Action in an attempt to counter-act the unforgivable wrongs of slavery in America.  But, what we as Americans fail to do is truly understand the horrors of slavery and its lasting impact on America.

What Harriet Jacobs does in her narrative Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is truly remarkable. As a partially self-taught speaker & writer of English, she manages to eloquently explain the natural rights denied to the common black woman, whether this be the right to their own children, right to consent, or right to abide by their own religious beliefs. To get a more in depth look at her life, I encourage you to read this biography about her, and to learn more about slavery in America in general check here. Her relationship with her first master- “Dr. Flint” is especially revealing.   Continue reading

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The Opposite of Loneliness: Marina Keegan’s Sentiments for the Student

Posted By Emily McClemont, GD Creative Nonfiction Reader for 5.2

“Sparkl[ing] with talent, humanity, and youth.” (O, The Oprah Magazine).

In May of 2012, Marina Keegan graduated magna cum laude from Yale University. She lost her life in a car accident shortly after. Two years following Keegan’s death, a collection of her short stories and essays was published. A New York Times bestseller and Goodreads Choice Awards in Nonfiction (2014) winner, The Opposite of Loneliness conveys, as Keegan’s former mentor, Harold Bloom states, Keegan’s request for the student generation “to invest their youthful pride and exuberance both in self-development and in the improvement of our tormented society.” Continue reading

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SUNY Geneseo Launches National Book Review Month

Posted by Nicole Sheldon, Creative Nonfiction Editor and Art Curator for Issue 4.2

With the spring semester in full swing the SUNY Geneseo campus is bustling with students who are finding that each day is busier than the last. It’s more than a week into February, and here at Geneseo Assistant Professor of English Lytton Smith, Editing and Production Manager Allison Brown, and I have launched National Book Review Month, or NaRMo, for the month of February.

get reviewing posterThe literary world celebrates events such as National Poetry Month and National Novel Writing Month, and we’ve set out to add National Book Review Month to the literary calendar. Book reviews are an often-overlooked part of the literary landscape, and many readers fail to recognize the value in reading and writing reviews. Reading a book review may give you that extra nudge to read that book you meant to indulge in over the summer. Or, perhaps reading a book review would have prevented you from abandoning the novel that wasn’t what you initially expected.

That’s the beauty of book reviews—they’re a way for readers to express their opinions about what they’ve read, and share their views with the rest of the literary world. Word of mouth is great when recommending a book—but publishing reviews online for readers all over the world to see is bound to have a greater impact. Continue reading

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GD 3.2 Preview: Featured Author Karin Lin-Greenberg

Two reviews of Karin Lin-Greenberg’s Faulty Predictions by GD staff members Sarah Diaz & Chrissy Montelli (see below). 

Written by Sarah Diaz, GD Poetry Reader for 3.2 & Poetry Editor for 3.1

A Review of Faulty Predictions: Stories by Karin Lin-Greenberg

As a self-proclaimed poet, I often find myself reluctant to read fiction. When I picked up Faulty Predictions, the genre ‘short fiction’ eased my concerns slightly, though I remained somewhat skeptical. The opening story of the collection, “Editorial Decisions” employs the first-person plural point-of-view and just like that, falling into the 2013 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction winner was easier done than said. The collection was published by the University of Georgia Press. Karin Lin-Greenberg received her MFA from University of Pittsburg, an MA from Temple University and an AB from Byrn Mawr College. Her work has appeared in literary journals such as Epoch, Kenyon Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Five Chapter among others. She is currently an assistant professor in the English Department at Siena College in upstate New York. Continue reading

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