Magazine article The New Yorker

Briefly Noted

Magazine article The New Yorker

Briefly Noted

Article excerpt

Goodbye, Vitamin, by Rachel Khong (Henry Holt). "More and more, I get this feeling I don't know a thing," says the narrator of this novel, who, after a terrible breakup, moves in with her parents to help care for her Alzheimer's-stricken father. Despite the sad premise, the novel unfolds in quirky, diary-like bursts. Khong, a food writer and editor, dots the narrative with beautiful quotidian details, often gustatory: jellyfish lovingly prepared to stave off dementia, secrets told over a shared pomegranate. The novel's opening sentence--"Tonight a man found Dad's pants in a tree lit with Christmas lights"--encapsulates much of its magical, visual approach, which is micro in detail but universal in scope.

Out in the Open, by Jesus Carrasco, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa (Riverhead). Set at an unspecified point in time and place, this novel follows a young runaway, identified only as "the boy," who has fled from an impoverished village to the drought-ravaged plain that surrounds it. Unequipped to deal with the dangers he faces--scorching sun, dehydration, and "the bailiff," an elegantly sadistic official from the village who's bent on tracking him down--the boy is taken under the wing of an old goatherd. Although they travel together in near-total silence, the goatherd teaches the boy the skills he needs to survive, and offers tenderness. The tale ends abruptly, on a bleak note, but a rainstorm delivers a glimmer of hope.

Murder in Matera, by Helene Stapinski (Dey St. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.