Category Archives: Fiction

Leave the World Behind

One year ago today was my last day working in the office. At the time, I was making a few simple, small adjustments to prepare for a lockdown or supply chain disruptions if the pandemic got suddenly. This mostly meant … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 10 Comments


After reading Telephone, I’ve found myself wondering why I don’t hear more about Percival Everett’s writing. I was introduced to his work through the 2018 Tournament of Books, where So Much Blue competed, and then I heard nothing more about him until Telephone was selected for … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 12 Comments


The relationship between Mike and Ben, the main characters in Bryan Washington’s Memorial, seems to have come to a turning point. They’ve lived together for years, and they love each other, but do they really get each other? Is their relationship … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 4 Comments

Shuggie Bain

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart won the Booker Prize last year and is one of the contenders for the Tournament of Books. And it is bleak. A lot of the TOB books are bleak this year, but this one is … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 8 Comments

Her Body and Other Parties

I have a much higher tolerance for weirdness and experimentation in short stories than in novels. In fact, I tend to prefer my short stories to be a little weird, whether in the story itself or in the way the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 2 Comments

Breasts and Eggs

My TOB reading continues with Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami and translated from the Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd. It’s a long book, maybe the longest on the list this year, and I think it could have done … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 8 Comments

The Tortoise and the Hare

This 1954 novel by Elizabeth Jenkins focuses on the disastrous marriage of Imogen and Evelyn Gresham. Imogen is beautiful and amiable, but, it appears, kind of useless to everyone in her household. She tries, but when she does, she ends … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 6 Comments

Sharks in the Time of Saviors

This novel by Kawai Strong Washburn is another solid entry in the 2021 Tournament of Books. It’s not one I’d put at the top of my list when Piranesi, Transcendent Kingdom, and The Vanishing Half are in the running, but it’s also … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 3 Comments


As a child, Natsuki felt so out of place with her family that she escaped in a world of fantasy in which she had magical powers given to her by a stuffed hedgehog from the planet Popinpobopia. Her cousin, Yuu, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 8 Comments

Tender is the Flesh

This novel by Argentine author Agustina Bazterrica and translated by Sarah Moses is set in a future where all non-human animals have been infected with a virus that infects anyone exposed to them (or so they’ve been told). So to … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 11 Comments