PositiveFull StopMischling is a novel that walks rather bravely into this fraught territory — both the history of the Holocaust and that of its representation. And it is, above all, an act of empathy ... Paradoxically, Mischling’s reliance on a familiarly shabby, twinkly-eyed Eastern Europeanness, is both its strength and its weakness. It’s weak because it’s vague, a cliché. And yet this sentimentality lends the novel some welcome knowability ... What really saves Mischling is Konar’s astonishing lyricism ... Though it may be overly reliant on well-worn tropes Mischling is a very powerful novel. Gripping and grim in equal measure, and beautifully, sometimes exquisitely, written.
The AnswersCatherine Lacey
RaveThe New RepublicIt’s a quiet, calm, somewhat circuitous rumination on what we miss and miss out on when our connections to other human beings are synthetic. And it serves as a reminder that sometimes the fiction that feels most relevant to a hallucinatory political moment is not itself overtly political ... women in The Answers seem to exist to be done to. They possess a keen awareness, some street smarts, even cynicism. And yet, wherever they go, things happen to them, to their bodies. Objects find their way into women’s personal space ... A thoughtful, complex, feminist book that artfully mines the fun-house insanity of 21st century American womanhood by a uniquely talented writer who knows not to put forth any answers, only more questions.
Made for LoveAlissa Nutting
PositiveThe Rumpus...[a] hilarious, madcap novel ... Hazel’s confrontation with her father’s geriatric—but enthusiastic—sexuality is the novel’s great gift. Encounters with parental desire are notoriously, timelessly cringeworthy, but some of us are fated to have more of them than others ... Nutting deftly illustrates the uncanny creep of the technological into the realm of affect, but what’s truly creepy is how ordinary it all comes to seem ... Touchingly, the verisimilitude of these scenes involving her father and Diane lies in the complexity of Hazel’s own feelings. In navigating her manifold, often simultaneous emotional responses—disgust, disapproval, curiosity, pride, annoyance—Nutting lays bare the strange intensity and intimacy of the familial bond ... Like in those triumphant, early escape-from-domesticity novels, Byron is a straightforward scoundrel, and Hazel’s freedom becomes the unassailable good the reader is cheering for, which can get a bit tiresome ... Nutting’s smart, ribald, and hugely entertaining new novel provokes many chuckles. Occasionally, she reaches higher, and grants the reader flashes of something truly great: a striking view of the pathetic, that Gogolian, absurdist sublime.