Jaeggy's These Possible Lives
The Brevity Blog. 8 Feb 2019
"I like melancholy conclusions as much as the next essayist, but somehow these morbid endings struck too hard this time. Each of the essays felt cut short, not on Jaeggy’s part, simply because they end with death, so there was nowhere else for them to go."
Volver: A Persistence of Memory
NewPages.com. 8 Jan 2018
"In it, we learn that Márquez has suffered a fall, resulting in a head injury, and that he has compiled this book in the fear that his mind is failing. The collected pages are the memories that persist, which he admits have been hastily completed “cobbled [together with] autobiographical fragments and vignettes that [he] had written over the past ten years.”
Abbott's Immortal for Quite Some Time
Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Issue 50.2, 2017
"If the book comes to a conclusion at all, it can be summed up in a line I have already made into a poster to hang on my office door: “That we are seldom at our best doesn’t invalidate our attempts to be whole.”
Gruber's You're Not Edith
NewPages.com. 1 Oct 2015
"Allison Gruber’s You’re Not Edith is one of the better books I’ve read this year. Her “autobiographical essays” are funny without being comic, personal without being egotistical, crude (because she describes teenage life and dog vomit) without stepping into vulgarity, showing a narrator who is lonely but not melodramatic, tender without becoming sentimental."
Moeckel's Watershed Days
NewPages.com. 1 Oct 2015
"There is a danger in reading these sort of quiet, contemplative collections of essays: by the end you feel like you are best friends with the authors. … You put down the book thinking you could probably buy them the perfect birthday present. But, of course, you don’t really know them and they don’t know you."
Stonecipher's Model City
The Volta Blog. 13 July 2015
"Model City starts with a question: “What was it like?”. After which, we get 72 poems, all of them titled “Model City,” each poem containing four prose poem stanzas, every stanza beginning with “It was like…” And then each stanza takes you to a dreamlike world of empty hotel rooms and architects without buildings to build."
Johnston's Creaturely and Other Essays
Brevity's Nonfiction Blog. 5 Dec 2011
"The essays admit that we cannot know what animals are thinking, but Johnston is not content to simply say we can never know: He cannot know what his dog smells downwind, but he can explore what it means to smell and how smell keeps us grounded in our creaturely instincts."