Recent Entries:

  • July 13th, 2015

    The multi-voiced narrative is a near-obligatory routine for many mainstream novelists. It satisfies benign inclinations – first, to display one’s ample virtuosity, and then, to flatter the reader’s presumed perspicacity. Any single fictional character may see only a part of a situation but the reader is persuaded that he/she can see it all.

  • June 8th, 2015

    In March 1942, German SS officers and their French hosts began deporting Jews from the Gare d’Austerlitz in Paris to their deaths in Eastern Europe. Before being led onto convoys by French gendarmes, Jews were held in a crumbling housing project at Drancy, a northern suburb.

  • May 28th, 2015

    “I write. It’s not my trade. No trade resembles man. It’s what I can do,” writes Georges Perros in the third and final edition of Papiers collés (Paper Collage), the aphoristic literary and philosophical jottings for which he is best known. He continues: “I know that if I’m not writing, something is not quite right and announces a catastrophe.

  • May 13th, 2015

    With On Elizabeth Bishop, the novelist Colm Tóibín presents an appreciative introduction to Bishop’s life and work, as well as an occasion for Bishop lovers to pick The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 off the shelf and revive the old pleasures. Encountering her poetry, Bishop’s new readers have often wondered if she provides more or less than meets the eye.

  • April 20th, 2015

    Welcome to The Seawall’s semi-annual poetry feature. This season, twelve poets write briefly on some of their favorite recently published titles. This multi-poet/title feature is posted here in April and November. The commentary includes:

    Sally Ball

    on The Do-Over by Kathleen Ossip (Sarabande)

    Kevin Prufer

    on Digest by Gregory Pardlo (Four Way Books)

  • April 13th, 2015

    Ban en Banlieue is a tour-de-force hybrid text, “an intense autobiography” whose performance notes, rituals, photographs, journal entries, short fictions, end-notes, and appendix Bhanu Kapil assembles in the aftermath of “a novel never written.” Kapil, a British-Indian emigrant living in Colorado, documents her failure to write a historical novel about a 1979 race riot in a mostly