Book Review: Pigeon English

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman

Pigeon English: A Novel by Stephen Kelman (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011. 288 pp) Stephen Kelman was born in Luton in 1976. Pigeon English, his first novel, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Desmond Elliot Prize, and the Guardian First Book Award. He lives in St. Albans. Existential Fears of Parenthood There’s a list of Oscar-nominated films piling up in the queue. The reasons are many. We work; we try to make dinner; scarcely a minute passes without the air molecules punctured from another exhort: “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Look at me!” Down the list of reasons for which we tend not to watch movies exists a fear. Put differently, many films place children in perilous circumstances. While such… Read More →

Book Review: The Report

The Report by Jessica Francis Kane

The Report: A Novel by Jessica Francis Kane (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2010. 240 pp) Born in Berkeley, CA, Jessica Francis Kane graduate from Yale University. Her work has earned her the Lawrence Foundation Prize and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and special mention in the Puschart Prize Anthology. She lives in New York with her husband and their two children. Unite and Divide National tragedies have a tendency to unite and divide. It whittles down to use against them. On the one hand, the “us” becomes extremely pronounced. The importance of neighbor increases when shared experience pushes a community toward teamwork and generosity. On the other hand, “them” becomes a nebulous evil…. Read More →

Book Review: NW

NW by Zadie Smith

NW: A Novel by Zadie Smith (New York: The Penguin Press, 2012. 416 pp) Zadie Smith was born in London. She went to King’s College, Cambridge University. Smith has written four novels and earned multiple awards including, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, the Commonwealth Writers’ Best Book Award, and the Orange Prize for Fiction. She is a tenured professor in the Creative Writing Program at New York University. The Power of Place The power of place reverberates much further than any of us dare to admit. While we all hold unique personalities, the broad regions and specific communities around which we orbit influence us profoundly. This reality causes people to offer broad stereotypes for different regions. For… Read More →