Helen Godolphin

It is difficult to review this book because my brain is still reeling. "Deeply mind-blowing" are the words Matt Greening used to describe Cruddy by Lynda Barry (Simon & Schuster), and I cannot think of any more apt. Cruddy is the story of Roberta Rohbeson's messed-up childhood and early adolescence, which included many strange and scary events such as running over a fat transvestite and having a finger amputated by her father. The book begins with Roberta's suicide note and jumps back and forth through the five years leading up to her death. She and her few friends are very appealing, especially Turtle, who likes to tell people he's Canadian and knows Neil Young. Barry's writing is brilliant: the story is so intense I was sometimes afraid to turn the page, and it all feels very true, within its own whacked-out world. Cruddy is anything but.

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Kris Rothstein

Dogs and the Writing Life

Review of "And a Dog Called Fig: Solitude, Connection, the Writing Life" by Helen Humphreys.


A Backward Glance or Two

Review of "Let the World Have You" by Mikko Harvey.

Emily Chou

My Dad's Brother

(Or What Does Drowning Look Like).