The Virginia Quarterly Review

The Virginia Quarterly Review is a magazine focusing on current and historical literary subjects. Since it was founded in 1925, it is produced quarterly. The magazine is published by the Virginia Quarterly Review.Subjects for The Virginia Quarterly Review include literature and literary reviews. The editor is Ted Genoways. Contributing editors are Molly Minturn and Kevin Morrissey

Articles from Vol. 82, No. 1, Winter

100 Essential Modern Poems
POETRY 100 Essential Modern Poems, edited by Joseph Parisi. Ivan R. Dee, October 2005. $24.95Typically, a poetry anthology offers several poems from major poets, and then a handful or even just one or two poems from poets of lesser reputation. Many,...
1945: The War That Never Ended
1945: The War That Never Ended, by Gregor Dallas. Yale, September 2005. $40This book should be read by every American who has even a modest interest in understanding the "war that never ended," which is the author's term for the period between 1945,...
AIDS and Africa's Hidden War
One October evening in 2001, in an impoverished shantytown in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, David Potse entered the house of a former girlfriend, and raped her g-month-old daughter. The child was later taken to a nearby hospital, where...
A Man without A Country
A Man Without A Country, by Kurt Vonnegut. Seven Stories Press, September 2005. $21A man has a right to be crotchety when he's reached the age of 82. But if Vonnegut is crotchety, we need more of it. This little gem, presumably entitled as it is because...
An Atomic Romance
An Atomic Romance, by Bobbie Ann Mason. Random House, August 2005. $24.95Mason's first novel in over a decade is the love story of Reed Futrell, a fifty-something maintenance engineer at a uranium-enrichment plant, and his biologist girlfriend Julia,...
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, by Yiyun Li. Random House, September 2005. $21.95"Being someone's child," says one of Li's narrators, "is a difficult job, a position one has no right to quit." In this affecting and delicately constructed collection,...
Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir
FICTION Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir, by Joe Meno. TriQuarterly, November 2005. $21.95In this set of seventeen brisk and funny stories, Joe Meno creates a fictional world so strange, so absurd that it could almost be real. Despite the stories'...
Body of the World
Body of the World, by Sam Taylor. Ausable Press, September 2005. $14Sam Taylor's first book of poetry is strange and delicious. Strange because it insists on the connectedness between individuals, objects, and the earth, not in a new-age or easy way,...
Creature Features
In April of 1971, my parents sat me down at the dining room table and delivered the horrifying news: I would no longer be the only child in the family.I said nothing. Rain pounded our windows, and our lights blinked off and on. When lightning zapped...
Genocide in Rwanda
Genocide In RwandaMachete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak: A Report by Jean Hatzfeld. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005. $24Journey into Darkness: Genocide in Rwanda by Thomas P. Odom. Texas A&M University Press, 2005. $24.95 paperShake Hands...
God Lives in St. Petersburg
God Lives in St. Petersburg, by Tom Bissell. Pantheon, January 2005. $20Bissell's inaugural collection of witty, worldly stories proves a fine companion for his nonfiction debut, Chasing the Sea, in which the author chronicles his return to Uzbekistan...
Greek Lyric Poetry
Greek Lyric Poetry, by Sherod Santos. Norton, September 2005. $24.95Translation is a truly thankless undertaking; the translator is perpetually haunted by the dilemma of whether to render a text literally or for meaning, a task that more often than not...
Heart of Darkness
AIDS, Africa, and RaceIn 1832, with cholera causing great mortality in US cities, both lay officials and clergymen asked President Andrew Jackson to declare a national day of prayer and repentance in hopes of halting the epidemic. In those days before...
Henry Adams and the Making of America
HISTORY Henry Adams and the Making of America, by Carry Wills. Houghton Mifflin, September 2005. $30Garry Wills is one of the intellectual stalwarts of our time. As a historian, writer, and social critic he has won prestigious awards. Is it curious,...
Looking AIDS in the Face
An Activist Photographic Project from South Africa and MozambiquePhotographer Gideon Mendel, born in Johannesburg in 1959, began photographing the topic of AIDS in Africa in 1993. His book Broken Landscape: HIV & AIDS in Africa received international...
Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey
Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey, by Peter J. Bowler and Iwan Rhys Morus. Chicago, May 2005. $25The late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries provide a fascinating vantage point from which to survey the scientific developments that have...
My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student
GENERAL NONFICTION My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student, by Rebekah Nathan. Cornell, September 2005. $24While the "Ivory Tower" of higher education in American is often faulted for being out of touch with the country around...
Nightgirls
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2001, MOATIZE, NEARTETE, MOZAMBIQUEIt is so hot here the highway melts everyday. Vehicles flattening it to oily, gleaming blacktop. I am sitting at a plastic table on a hot concrete step at the Pensao Montes Namuli, watching the...
On Dambudzo Marechera
The Life and Times of an African WriterI got my things and left.This, the opening line to Dambudzo Marechera's The House of Hunger, apart from being the coolest opening line in African fiction, is a fair summary of the writer's life. He was always getting...
On Not Using the Word "Cunt" in a Poem
Certainly there's pressure to performin such a way what doesn't sound so statelyand isn't safe: Let it be shorn,the poem's lush holiness. Let locks be trimmed.Cut to the chase. How unchaste can you be?Can I proffer a different kind of tongue,one that...
Self as Self-Impersonation in American Poetry
As a boy, I remember one of the few Sundays that our family went to church. Our regular attendance was partly hampered by the fact that one Easter Sunday my older brother, on a dare from Weegee Hansen, hit Reverend Fox in the back of the head with a...
Ships in High Transit
FictionStupid Japanese tourist. During breakfast, on the open-air patio that faced the plains of Lake Nakuru National Park, he saw the gang of baboons, saw the two large males, fulfilling with every grunt and chest bang every human cliché about male...
Stealing God's Thunder: Benjamin Franklin's Lightning Rod and the Invention of America
Stealing God's Thunder: Benjamin Franklin's Lightning Rod and the Invention of America, by Philip Dray. Random House, August 2005. $25.95Lightning, terrifying in its destructive force, was very poorly understood in Benjamin Franklin's day, as Philip...
Swallow
Sometimes the dominatrix simply squats abovethe subservient mouth, and feeds itlike a mother bird. At other times (in other moods)a sense of courtly ritual is called for, andher seat-on-hollow-box is wheeled out,so something formal and geometric is madeof...
Tamalpais
Feather came up to me just as the early dinner rush was ending. "Listen up," he said. "I've got a huge party upstairs at 8:15, so I need you to look after a few things.""What things?" I said."Mostly thirteen. I'm thinking thirteen may need a little extra...
Terror, Incorporated: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks
Terror, Incorporated: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks, by Loretta Napoleoni. Seven Stories Press, May 2005. $17.95 paperNapoleoni has written an interesting book that focuses on the economic history and operations of terrorist organizations....
The Edge of Nowhere
CHARTER WEEKSFebruary 2003We drive out of Niamey, the capital of Niger, through a mishmash of taxis and trucks and camels and goats and endless streams of people walking. After about ten kilometers, we stop at a checkpoint and pay a toll. A sticker is...
The Flaw in the Design
FictionI float back in.The wall brightens, dims, brightens faintly again-a calm pulse, which mine calms to match, of the pale sun's beating heart. Outside, the sky is on the move-windswept and pearly-spring is coming from a distance. In its path, scraps...
The Graphics of Solidarity
Start with the logo. It came surging forward like a crowd: the S hurrying the straggling O along, the A and the R striding confidently, the dot over the I and the accents over the second S and C reading like heads craning forward to where the C was pointing,...
The Kantian Imperative: Humiliation, Common Sense, Politics
The Kantian Imperative: Humiliation, Common Sense, Politics, by Paul Saurette. Toronto, August 2005. $35With the publication of the Critique of Pure Reason in 1781, Immanuel Kant effectively refigures the terms of modern philosophy by announcing a new...
The Scourge of AIDS in Africa
And Why We Must Act NowIn August 2001, I was strapped into the passenger seat, speeding along the highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, the capital of South Africa. On the edge of every shantytown and encampment, we passed two invariable landmarks:...
The Trouble with Poetry
The Trouble With Poetry, by Billy Collins. Random House, October 2005. $22.95The new collection by Collins, former US poet laureate and National Public Radio favorite, should bolster his standing as America's most popular poet. All the poems in The Trouble...
The Underground Economy of AIDS
In 2001, a group of scholars at University of California, San Francisco came up with a scheme that they hoped would protect African women from HIV. They had been working in Zimbabwe, a poor, politically troubled nation in Southern Africa, where the epidemic...
The Verse Book of Interviews: 27 Poets on Language, Craft, and Culture
The Verse Book of Interviews: 27 Poets on Language, Craft, and Culture, edited by Brian Henry and Andrew Zawacki. Verse Press, August 2005. $16Many of us have read these interviews in Verse magazine, and now we can enjoy them and give them to others...
The Wake
The Wake, by Margo Glantz, translated from the Spanish by Andrew Hurley. Curbstone Press, September 2005. $14 paperWinner of the Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz Prize in Mexico and finalist for the Herralde Prize in Spain, this compelling novel by Mexican...