‘The Art of Joy’ by Goliarda Sapienza

The Art of Joy is a novel of ideas. It’s concerned with birth, life, and death, the education of women, politics, social and cultural history, sexuality, free love, psychoanalysis, familial bonds, childrearing, and more.read more

'The Scientists: A Family Romance' by Marco Roth

Marco Roth grew up in a well-to-do Jewish family on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, but, like all unhappy families, his was unhappy in its own way:  his father, a doctor, had contracted HIV, ostensibly from a careless needle prick, and by Marco’s high school years, had developed full-blown AIDS.  And even though the… read more

'My Husband and My Wives: A Gay Man’s Odyssey' by Charles Rowan Beye

Early in his memoir, Beye tells us that he hopes the reader will finish the book “with a better understanding of the obstacles and shoals the gay male must navigate just to grow up and assume the responsibilities of adulthood.” In clean, elegant prose, Beye does just that.  My Husband and My Wives is an engrossing, moving and often witty take one gay man’s life…. read more

'Coral Glynn' by Peter Cameron

On its surface, the story of Coral Glynn appears simple: the titular nurse Coral arrives at Hart House to care for an elderly woman dying of cancer, and her son, Major Clement Hart, takes a shine to her. In less deft hands, this material would be ripe for all sorts of weeping and rending of garments, but Cameron works with a deft hand, never succumbing to histrionics…. read more

'By Blood' by Ellen Ullman

By Blood, Ellen Ullman’s latest novel, is a noir gem. The novel is creepy-exciting and skillfully ironic at almost every turn, with a narrator’s voice snaking through the measured text. It is a voice that is appalling, brilliantly perverted, cunning and smart—and desperate for redemption…. read more

'Touch' by Henri Cole

Can something true but unbearable happen out of the sense of wonder?  Is one addicted to the gaze that follows curiosity, however morbid?  I kept thinking about this idea while reading Henri Cole’s new book of poems, Touch.  What exactly constitutes wonder?  Is it casual, ordered, instinctual?  Is it considered wonder only when it ends… read more