Sandman: Overture 4

This installment of Sandman: Overture continues the lush art and expansive story of the previous chapters. The art by J.H. Williams III is, if anything, getting better with each issue. As Dream, his feline echo, and a human girl continue on their quest, we get more glimpses of what lies behind the curtain of the…

Book Review: When We Became Three

When We Became Three: A Memory Book For the Modern Familyby Jill Caryl Weiner My mom kept a baby book. It was an album with photographs and notes, and in it she recorded my first steps and my first words. She pieced it together by hand, and included photographic prints, my birth announcement in the…

Book Review: Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

Snow.11 February 1910. Ye gods, thought the infant Ursula, in a preternatural burst of consciousness, as she was born for the ninety-ninth time. Again She startled herself into a lusty scream. Bravo! A divine voice spoke from somewhere unseen. Do you realize that this is the first birth you’ve survived all on your own? In…

Sandman: Overture 3

I read the original Sandman graphic novels as fast as I could afford to buy the trade paperbacks. (I’ve since re-read them often enough that I wish I’d spent the extra money on hardcovers.) When this prequel series started coming out, I decided to see what it’s like to read a Neil Gaiman story one…

The Beautiful Trap of Belzhar

Meg Wolitzer is revealing herself to be a terrifically nimble, as well as prolific author. Since 2011 she’s published The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman, an acclaimed middle-grade novel, and The Uncoupling and The Interestings, both for adults, following a career that’s spanned over thirty years so far. Forthcoming in September 2014 is Belzhar, Wolitzer’s foray…

Book Review: The Maid’s Version, by Daniel Woodrell

The Maid’s Version appeared last fall, Daniel Woodrell’s followup to Winter’s Bone (2006) and the acclaimed short-story collection The Outlaw Album (2011). Winter’s Bone had taken the breath out of a literary world grown content with the divide between “commercial fiction” and “serious literature.” The novel achieved the rarest of literary feats, offering an accessible…

Stunted Radishes and Crooked Trees

This post is continued from If Plants Can’t Think, How Do They Develop Such Beautiful Habits? from last month. It’s a great time to be a plant, a hard time to be a gardener–or an elementary school teacher, as it happens. Both plants and children grow wild in the spring. Weedy, fast, invasive of places…

Sandman: Overture 2

Anything written by Neil Gaiman is always worth waiting for. It’s been almost four months since the first issue of Sandman: Overture came out, and I have the second issue next to me on the couch as I type this; I bought it late last week, and have since read it twice. Overture will clearly…