On King of Joy: I’ve read a lot about grief, but this sentence in Richard Chiem’s novel, <i>King of Joy</i>, still knocked me right out with its quiet, piercing truth: “Grief is an out of body thing, the worst secret you can have.” This is a book about grief, about trauma and recovery, the ways the world destroys us and the ways we accelerate the destruction of our world. All of it is told in Chiem’s inimitable voice; it’s unsentimental, hypnotic stuff, you’ll race through it, heart beating, eyes burning, recognizing your own secrets on every page.
On American Genius: A Comedy: If you’re looking for a book to really just get lost in, this re-release of Lynne Tillman’s dense, winding, frantically brilliant novel is a good bet. Notice I didn’t say safe bet, because there’s little that’s safe within these pages. Instead, you’ll find the profane, twisted, knife edge-sharp thoughts of a former historian who is meditating on everything from the concept of sensitivity to the Manson murders. And you’ll receive these thoughts in the inimitable literary stylings of Tillman, who goes places few other writers can even conceive of existing.
Read more here.